July 2, 2010 archive

We Energized Each Other: Finding Engaged Allies Where We Work

Whatever our situation, we need allies to work successfully for change. We need people to talk with, brainstorm ideas, lift us up when we’re down, and build power by acting together. Many of us involve ourselves in local and national political issues, but what about our workplaces? How do we shift these contexts to help create a more just and sustainable world? Unionization is one key approach. Had the Deepwater Horizon workers been unionized, they could have challenged the dangerous shortcuts that BP was taking without fear of being capriciously fired. Instead, many may well have held back from expressing their concerns for fear of losing their jobs. But whether or not our workplaces are unionized, we need to find engaged allies if we want to make a difference.

Open Shoes


News at Noon

From Reuters

Special Report:  Should BP nuke its leaking well?

By Nastassia Astrasheuskaya, Ben Judah, Alina Selyukh

July 2, 2010

(Reuters) – His face wracked by age and his voice rasping after decades of chain-smoking coarse tobacco, the former long-time Russian Minister of nuclear energy and veteran Soviet physicist Viktor Mikhailov knows just how to fix BP’s oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico.

“A nuclear explosion over the leak,” he says nonchalantly puffing a cigarette as he sits in a conference room at the Institute of Strategic Stability, where he is a director. “I don’t know what BP is waiting for, they are wasting their time. Only about 10 kilotons of nuclear explosion capacity and the problem is solved.”

A nuclear fix to the leaking well has been touted online and in the occasional newspaper op-ed for weeks now. Washington has repeatedly dismissed the idea and BP execs say they are not considering an explosion — nuclear or otherwise. But as a series of efforts to plug the 60,000 barrels of oil a day gushing from the sea floor have failed, talk of an extreme solution refuses to die.

Related Stories

Total sees tougher rules as storm spreads Gulf slik

Faithful spread hope amid oil spill

BP Sued Over Incineration of Sea Turtles

The lawsuit accuses the British energy giant of violating the U.S. Endangered Species Act and terms of its lease with the federal government for the deep-sea drilling rig that exploded on April 20, unleashing the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history.

The suit says rare turtles protected under the Endangered Species Act are being inadvertently burned to death when spill containment crews corral large patches of oil on the surface of the Gulf and set the petroleum ablaze to dispose of it.

Those deaths, the suit says, amount to illegal “takings” of endangered turtles. A check of federal records has found no indication that BP ever applied for special government permits that would allow for “incidental takes” of protected species under such circumstances, according to the lawsuit.

Among the creatures most at risk from the incineration of oil at sea are the endangered Kemp’s ridley turtle, the smallest known sea turtles in the world and among the rarest.

Private boat captains chartered for wildlife rescue missions in the Gulf said in affidavits filed with the lawsuits that many young sea turtles have tended to congregate among oil blobs floating in the water, apparently unable to distinguish between the oil and mats of seaweed that provide natural shelter on the surface of the Gulf.

The turtles are then presumably swept up and unable to escape when shrimp boats contracted for cleanup operations are used to drag fire-resistant booms to encircle the floating oil before it is set ablaze.

From http://af.reuters.com/article/…

The suit was brought by:

the Animal Legal Defense Fund  http://www.aldf.org/

the Animal Welfare Institute, http://www.awionline.org/

the Center for Biological Diversity  http://www.biologicaldiversity…

Turtle Island Restoration Network. http://www.seaturtles.org/

More info at the above websites.

Docudharma Times Friday July 2

Friday’s Headlines:

Oil found in Gulf crabs raises new food chain fears

Scientists discover what makes us live longer


Factory Jobs Return, but Employers Find Skills Shortage

U.S. housing market remains fragile despite low mortgage rates


Embarrassment for Sarkozy as £1bn L’Oréal feud comes to court

Austrians rally in support of teenage Kosovan asylum seeker

Middle East

Iranian students fight hard and soft

Palestinian President Reaches Out to Israelis


China funds English TV news channel CNC World in push for soft power

US misses history lessons on Korea


South Africa bracing itself for post World Cup violence

South Africa takes fire for arms sales to blacklisted nations

Muse in the Morning

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Muse in the Morning

The cosmos is beginningless,

and in its movement from phase to phase

it is governed only by the impersonal, implacable law

of arising, change, and passing away.

–Bhikkhu Bodhi, Introduction to The Dhammapada

Phenomena VII: changing

Seeking to Connect

Be the Change

If we strive to live

as if the world

was as we wish it

to be

perhaps it will become

like that

“But that’s the way things are,”

says the crowd

That thinking is

what keeps our lives

this world

our relationship to this world

rigidly unchanging

So we resist…

try to eradicate

that mode of thought

try to keep flicking

some switches

hoping that more

lights will illuminate

searching for a trigger

to ignite

the cascade effect

that will bring

the change we desire

It starts inside

each of us

with those things

we can really control

–Robyn Elaine Serven

–March 26, 2008

This film is no longer available.

Due to copyright infringement, we insists, we insists, on making money off people who insists, who insists, on making money off of us.



PS: God help us assholes (No, he won’t).

Late Night Karaoke


RIP, Ridley, 20100702

No one here knows who Ridley was, and actually, his name was not Ridley.  His name was Leslie Hill Johnson,and I have full permission of the family to write about him here.  I shall blockquote the funeral announcement in the text.

The name Ridley came about from him, his son, and all of us reading Kipling whilst drinking coffee when his son and I were around 12 years old.  He was a WWII and Korean War veteran, and he had tales to tell!  Some were better than others.  Ridley just came as a joke.

On Music Appreciation, Part Two, Or, Records Only Have One Groove

It was just yesterday that we decided to take a day off from politics and talk about music, both familiar and not so much; the conversation ran a bit long, and when we got halfway through we decided to get together tomorrow.

It was pretty fun, what with sewers and male models and Gorillaz and all, and when we had put down the pen it was just after taking in Sarah Vaughan’s reworked dance version of the Peggy Lee classic, “Fever”.

They say tomorrow never comes…but now it has…and we have eight more songs to talk about before we can finish our multigenerational “Summer Music Appreciation Playlist”.

Today we’ll incorporate jazz and dance, the invention of modern musical recording, arguably the greatest saxophone player ever, and a shout out to “our man in Paris”.

If all that wasn’t enough, we also discover what happens when you graft a certain Pepper onto Jamaica’s musical tree.

You don’t want to stop now, so jump on board and let’s get this train rollin’.

Fashion, photography, sexuality and social anxiety?

I probably shouldn’t pull punches here.  I find some of the rhetoric and claims in this video a bit suspect.

Perhaps the oddest part for me is that the videomaker is using imagery that she considers disgusting at least, while arguing (it seems to me) that the ads for children’s clothing used by American Apparel are somehow pornographic.

Now there’s a part of me that sympathizes with this view.  And then there’s the part of me that thinks… didn’t you just manage to make an unpaid ad for this company by using the same images as part of your critique?  Aren’t you also exploiting these children by showing the images, and not only that, but unlike the company that paid the models and their parents, you’re exploiting them without any compensation.  (Then again, by embedding this and drawing attention to it, perhaps I’m doing the same thing?)

It strikes me as a very slippery slope, to say the least.  Before I sound like a pontiff from a religion that doesn’t institutionalize child sexual abuse, let me just embed the video I’m talking about, so you can make up your own mind before I continue my rant.

Don’t view the following video if you think it might contain soft-core pron.