Friday, January 06, 2006

Other Items

Marcos, give it up. That's what James McKinley, Jr. advises in this morning's New York Times
("A Masked Marxist on the Stump") when he uses his, we're sure, keen observation skills to weigh in on Marcos' current campaign:

Yet the start of a six-month national tour led by the man known as Subcommander Marcos has all the earmarks of a run-of-the-mill campaign for political office: slogans, chants, partisan songs, rallies large and small, a campaign caravan making stops in towns and cities, jabs at other politicians, cute presentations from children and hugs from local community leaders, shaking hands with admirers over a line of bodyguards, and the occasional obligation to kiss, or at least hug, a baby or two.

Better coverage of the issue can be found in Andrew Kennis' "Zapatista 'Other Campaign' starts series of town-hall like meetings in San Cristobal . . ." (NYC Indymedia). McKinley continues to be obsessed with Marcos' "pipe smoking." He also continues to use " the man known as Subcommander Marcos" which isn't how Marcos is billed now (and really wasn't how he was ever billed -- a point that McKinley, filing and doing damage in Mexico for some time, should grasp. The Times may allow the convicted and disgraced certain honors (and have, indeed, rewritten their style manual for the likes of Agnew in the past), but it's not anything they apply with equality to all. From that attidue (the paper's) springs all the other problems with McKinley's article.

Ty passed on that Law & Disorder is now a weekly program (as Ruth wondered recently). On Pacifica's WBAI it airs every Monday. It also airs in additional markets and those can be found by visiting the Law & Disorder home page.

On something we noted repeatedly yesterday (because the e-mail entry posted three times), Brad wants everyone to take note of "Global Women Launch Campaign to End Iraq War: Alice Walker, Cindy Sheehan, Susan Sarandon, Margaret Cho, Barbara Lee and Others Join Iraqi Women to Urge the Withdrawal of Foreign Troops and Foreign Fighters from Iraq" (Common Dreams):

Women Say No to War Campaign
Initiated by the group CODEPINK: Women for Peace, this is the first campaign that brings women together across borders to demand an end to the bloodshed in Iraq. "The response to our initial call has been overwhelming--we have over 200 prominent endorsers, and more than 3,000 women have signed on before we even launched the campaign. We’re unleashing a global chorus of women’s voices shouting 'Enough!,'" said Medea Benjamin, co-founder of the groups CODEPINK: Women for Peace and Global Exchange.
Among the 200 high-profile women who endorsed the call are Gold Star mothers Cindy Sheehan of the US and Rose Gentle of Scotland; Actors/Performers Susan Sarandon, Eve Ensler, and Margaret Cho; Authors Alice Walker, Anne Lamott, Maxine Hong Kingston and Barbara Ehrenreich; and Congresswomen Barbara Lee, Cynthia McKinney and Lynn Woolsey of the US, Libby Davies of Canada, and Caroline Lucas of the UK. Iraqi women endorsers include Yanar Mohammed of the
Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq and Hana Ibrahim of Iraqi Women's Will.
"Iraqi women are devastated now, and it will take us decades of struggle to regain a peaceful and civilized life," said Yanar Mohammed. "The US occupation has planted seeds of ethno-sectarian division, preparing Iraq for a civil war, and has blessed religious supremacy over and against human and women’s rights."
The majority of people in Iraq, the US, the UK and around the world oppose the Iraq war, which has thus far cost the lives of tens of thousands of Iraqis (estimates range from 27,736 to 100,000); 2,182 US troops; 98 UK troops; and hundreds of humanitarian workers. As the three-year anniversary of the invasion of Iraq approaches, the country is still wracked by violence, Iraqi civilians are suffering from a lack of basic services, including electricity and clean water, and women’s rights are under attack.

Lyle notes that Patricia J. Williams' "Pandora's Box" (Diary of a Mad Law Professor, The Nation):

Some years ago, when "identity politics" first raised its contentious, snappish little head, the furor seemed almost entirely focused on African-Americans. The true complexity and importance of that debate, deemed largely academic at first, is perhaps increasingly clear. In recent times the world has shuddered with violent realignments unleashed by global challenges to line up with "them" or with "us," or with "truth" or with "treason." Identity is battered by varied appeals to conformity: Say it! prove it! swear allegiance to this or that nation, party, religion, bloodline of the moment--good or bad, for or against, red or blue, blue or gray, black or white, or many shades of other.
A deep planetary insecurity has fostered a rush to build boundaries around ourselves--psychic green zones, mental walls, panic rooms, little protective groupings--no matter how irrational. There's a Boondocks cartoon that captures the absurd tension of this moment, where young Huey excitedly tells his grandfather that there's good news abroad in the land. African-Americans are now only the third most hated group in America, he says, right after Muslims and the French. It is a bizarre phenomenon, this free-floating sense of well-being that derives comfort from being less hated rather than more loved.
As recent riots around the globe have made so clear, identities and their attendant prejudice are essentially malleable; they vary with time, trauma, culture and economics. In Australia Lebanese seem to have overtaken Aborigines as the hated minority du jour. In America Lebanese are still gilded with a stereotype of heroic middle classness--I heard someone say that "they're Arab but, um, more Christianized, you know?" In France Algerians used to be the most disfavored, now less so than Senegalese and Malians. In England it was always the Irish, but now that the Irish have become prosperous, Afro-Caribbeans and South Asians are, as one commentator put it, "the new Irish."

Williams' writing isn't always available online to nonsubscribers of the magazine, so take note of this column, as Lyle advises.

Micah passes on that today's scheduled topics for Democracy Now! are:

An update on Ariel Sharon's situation. Sarah Whitson, Executive Director of Human Rights Watch's Mid-East and North African Division, on Israeli settlements in occupied Palestine. And the issues of torture and presidential power.

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