my_window_seat: (Default)
Oh, yeah -

My suggestion for an alternative to the pro-war rally on September 11th met with approval at the meeting tonight. This is what was just distributed via the Stop the War Machine newsletter - I might have used the word 'respectful' rather than 'mournful', myself - but it would just be nice if people would show up.

From Stop the War Machine:

Well, Donald Rumsfeld appears to be organizing a Freedom Rally in
Washington DC on Sept. 11 to “Support the Troops”. Perhaps he means
“Support W” or “Support the neo-cons” or “Support the Oil Industry” or
“Support the Empire.” We are hearing that you have to register at a military
website in order to attend?

Our response to this is to have a vigil of our own. In contrast to
Rumsfeld’s celebratory event, ours will be silent and mournful. You are
invited to come to the Federal Courthouse on Sunday, Sept. 11 from
12-2pm and wear black.
And you do not have to register at a [military] website in order to be permitted to come.
my_window_seat: (Default)
Went to the meeting at the Peace & Justice Center tonight.

As organizations go - they're - um, small.

My contribution to the war - er, ANTI-war effort -

Look, Ma - I made a flyer.

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

EEEEP!

Aug. 14th, 2005 05:47 pm
my_window_seat: (Default)
Well - got a response to my solicitation for activism. Wow. Yoinks!

============================

From: stopthewarmachine@comcast.net
To: "D." <******@yahoo.com>
Subject: Re: Protest the Bush Pro-War Rally?
Date: Sat, 13 Aug 2005 17:06:53 +0000

Hi D -

I haven't heard of anything yet. If it's OK with you, I'll put your message with your email as a contact on our newsletter. Folks might contact you to let you know. Also, you're invited to come to our meeting Aug. 17 - Wed - 6pm at the Peace Center in Albuquerque (corner of Harvard and Silver). We'll be planning the big Sept. 24 rally in Abq but why not discuss 9/11 as well?

Jeanne

============================

Wow. Okay. Well, be careful what you wish for, eh?

Hum.

So here's my idea - tell me what y'all think:

I'm thinking this - what about a short walk/bike event (like 3 miles or something simple - sheesh, I'm in shitty shape for this kind of thing) where people get other people to sponser them for the miles they walk and the money goes to a local charity - I was thinking something like the group, Another Side Counter Recruitment Effort - they're the ones that are trying to spread true information about the heinous methods of recruitment used by the military to coerce young people into joining up.

I mean, rather than just walking and 'making a statement,' why not try to raise both conciousness and some fundage that might actually accomplish something, eh?

HA - just had a thought - since the Bushies are calling their insulting excuse for an 'event' the 'Freedom Walk' - what about calling this the 'Truth Walk'?

Thoughts, comments, suggestions?
my_window_seat: (Default)
Also sent an e-mail to StopTheWarMachine.org (see previous two posts). Unfortunately they don't have a contact phone number for follow-up.

Christ. Can't we just stake GWB through the heart and get this over with? I mean, aren't blood-sucking fiends supposed to dissolve into dust when you do that? Or has Joss Whedon just been leading me on all this time?
my_window_seat: (Default)
No response to the e-mail I sent to MoveOn.org, but then again, given their disclaimer, I didn't really expect one.

So, I just sent an edited version of the same to the Albuquerque Peace & Justice Center.

::crosses fingers::
my_window_seat: (To Much of the Stupid)
Submitted today to MoveOn.org:

==============================================

We welcome your comments and suggestions. If you are experiencing a problem, please return to the previous page and select a different option. We get a lot feedback, so please don't expect a personal reply. But all mail is read.

Your Name: ~D~
Your Email: *****@yahoo.com
Subject: Organizing Protests Against Sept. 11th Pro-War Rally

Hi, thank you for your time.

I checked your website and forums and didn't find anything like what I was looking for, so I hope you don't mind the question.

I just read the announcement about the Pro-War Rally organized by the Bush Administration to take place on September 11th, and I was wondering if anyone is planning any kind of counter-protests, specifically something in cities across the US, since most of us can't fly to Washington to protest there. I'd be willing to help organize something where I live (Albuquerque, NM), but I have no idea how to go about doing so.

If there's already something under way that I can help facilitate and you can let me know where I would look for further information, I would really appreciate it. If you haven't heard of anything, any suggestions you might have for an inexperienced political activist would *also* be much appreciated. :)

Thanks in advance for your time,

~D~
Albuquerque, NM

==============================================
my_window_seat: (Kat Poison)
There's going to be a Pro-War Rally on September 11th this year.

No, this is not sarcasm, this is not a joke.

There is going to be a Pro-War Rally on September Fucking 11th this year courtesy of the Bush Administration.

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/wn_report/story/335938p-286948c.html

This is fucking INSANE, people.

Hands up everyone in Albuquerque who thinks we shouldn't organize a protest of this rally here in our own town. And rope in every conceivable kind of media coverage available to document it.

And everyone in whatever town they live in - I don't give a bloody fuck if you're reading this in fucking Kurdistan right now - organize your own goddamn form of peacful protest SOMEWHERE - because how long do you think it will be before this kind of Nuremburg Rally shit doesn't affect you?

Jesus H Motherfucking Christ on Crutches in a Goddamned Sidecar.

X-posting. JESUS.
my_window_seat: (Default)
Thank goodness for something else to focus on besides my personal failures.

The Battle Royale in the Ongoing Plea for Ethics in Journalism Continues.

Too bad I didn't use, oh, about a hundred less words than I did.

::headdesk::

=================================

Date: Thu, 4 Aug 2005 13:43:38 -0400
From: "Slate Pressbox" <slate.pressbox@gmail.com>
To: "D." <*******@yahoo.com>
Subject: Re: Meth Article is Clever but Irrelevant

Ms. M****,

I'll ignore your sarcasm just this once.

Ask yourself, who created the meth mess that we have today. And what
measure would you have the govt take to eliminate meth.

Jack

=================================
And my ever-verbose response:
=================================

Date: Thu, 4 Aug 2005 22:29:33 -0700 (PDT)
From: "D." <*******@yahoo.com>
Subject: Re: Meth Article is Clever but Irrelevant
To: "Slate Pressbox" <slate.pressbox@gmail.com>


> Ask yourself, who created the meth mess that we have
> today. And what
> measure would you have the govt take to eliminate
> meth.

My first reaction to your questions is that the 'meth
mess' isn't immediately attributable to anyone other
than the individuals who choose to make and take it,
and who influence others to do so as well.

However, I think that an economy that reduces the
individual's chance to make a living wage probably
doesn't help the situation, nor does the increasing
amount of hamstringing in the educational system - if
young people get the idea from looking around them
that their future holds little promise, how much
incentive is there for them to stay in school and
'just say no' in the first place, particularly if they
have parents who are already users or they live
surrounded by other peers and adults who are?

The thing is, I'm not waiting around for the
government to change all that. Asking me what the
government should do to 'eliminate meth' is probably
one of the silliest questions I've heard lately -
seriously, Prohibition, anyone? The government's job
isn't to legislate against human stupidity - it's to
protect individual rights and freedoms, up and until
an individual chooses to use their freedom to infringe
on the rights of another person to deny them of
theirs.

However, the government's job is also to care for the
needy and the helpless in society. The tradional view
of liberals is that this is done by stressing
individual responsibility and emphasizing the quality
of life of the individual in an effort to strengthen
society as a whole. The traditional view of
conservatism is that this same responsibility lies
with the community, and that individuals should
subsume a certain amount of their personal power to
officials that they deem worthy of the responsibility
that those in power have to society.

As I see it, neither of these views seems to be a
leading concern of the current administration. There
appears, to me, to be a hegemony of power and
influence concerned solely with its own interests, and
no real thought for those in society who are
struggling - with debt, with lack of education, and as
a by-product, with an increased need to find escapism
in drugs. The court system, which was meant to be
government's tool to provide objective standards by
which it used power, and force when necessary, to
preserve individual freedoms, is now a tangled mess of
precedent and judicial activism that those with
greater resources can use to their own advantage, and
which those without those resources are penalized by
without hope of receiving assistance in improving
themselves and having the opportunity to make ammends,
learn from their mistakes, and become functional and
contributing members to society in the future.

As I said before getting sidetracked, I'm not counting
on the government to solve the problem. I don't think
that that's a reasonable or rational approach. I do
believe in the necessity of continuing to *try*
however. I don't think that there's a permanent
solution, but neither do I think that that's a reason
to shrug and ignore it.

But I'm not waiting for an amorphous outside force -
the government - to come in and sweep it all up and
make it all right. I believe that, like the president
you fingered for having a benny-abuse issue, that I
should "ask not what my country should do for me, but
what I can do for my country." If that means simply
being aware of the problems, and combatting them in
the only way I know how - on a personal, individual
level - then that's what there is for me to do. I try
to help people when I can, in the ways that I can. I
try to help my friends and the families of my friends.


And I try to make other people aware, not just of
problems, but of what they can do to be
problem-solvers as well.

This is where I see the role of journalism as having
the opportunity to be a force for change. You, as a
reporter, have the opportunity to inform and instruct,
and with the resources and contacts available to you,
and an audience of intelligent readers, you have the
ability to affect society for good. Not just to stun
people with facts or lull them into a sense of false
security by pooh-poohing the 'scare-mongers' - though
I don't argue your justifiable issues with Newsweek -
but you can be a source of information and truth and
can open the windows in people's brains and suggest to
them ways in which they can be actual contributing
members of their society, not just benchwarmers
criticizing those out there in play.

Be critical, yes. Be truthful, and expose those who
are taking the lazy way out by just printing bleeding
leads. But is it so much to ask that you take one
further step - to be a part of the solution, rather
than just pointing out who isn't properly pointing out
the problem?

Honestly, I'm a Bear of Very Little Brain, and the
machinations of politics more often than not go right
over my head and into the bleachers. But I do think
that the media can do more than entertain or distract
people from dealing with issues on a personal level.
I think the media can be a leading influence on
government, by making those under it aware of what
they can do when it isn't functioning properly.

I don't suppose any of that is in your job
description. But neither is what I do in mine. But
my question for you would be, isn't it when we do a
nominal bit more than what's expected of us that we
really and truly make a difference?

All Sarcasm Aside,
~D~
my_window_seat: (Default)
The Alibi, while not my favorite rag, did a really good story on Another Side, a counter-recruiting organization dedicated to giving people first-hand accounts of the scams and sleight-of-hand tricks that military recruiters are using to try to improve their crappy enlistment numbers. If you're going to be a teacher, pay particular attention to the last three paragraphs - this is the kind of shit that your students are going to be subjected to by these rat bastards. The recruiting guys I mean, not the counter-recruiters. Duh.

Fresh Meat ... Not So Fast: Counter-recruiting effort takes shape in New Mexico )
my_window_seat: (Default)
For the next month or so, I'm going to be carrying around with me a petition to get Eric Griego on the ballot for the Mayoral election in October. Whether you like, dislike, or really don't much give a hoot, hopefully you'll agree that offering viable choices for candidates is a good thing, and maybe I can twist your arm into signing. Signing the petition DOES NOT mean that you are agreeing to vote for him - only that you agree that he should be on the ballot during the election.

More info on Eric Griego can be found at his website:

http://www.ericgriego.com/

Here's a recommendation from LJ'er [livejournal.com profile] killbox in the [livejournal.com profile] nm_vote community, from whom I got the heads-up on this:

i am not at this time involved in the campaign, just somebody who wants change, and id have to say since i have met with the man 3 times, he is a very cool person who genuinely believes in providing a public service, not your run of the mill candidate..

he also sponsored (and helped pass) the memorial, that helped put Albuquerque on the map standing up (a little) to the patriot act!


So, yeah - support choice, damnit. Sign my damn petition.

[EDIT: Or better yet, print your OWN copy and have YOUR friends sign it. It's not an egregious process. A postage stamp and a piece of paper with some names on it earns you the right to say 'yeah, I'm DOING something.' Not that you should stop there, but it's SOMETHING, damnit.

Petition for printing here:

http://www.ericgriego.com/documents/EricGriego-Petition.pdf ]

Rawr.
my_window_seat: (Default)
The wisdom of [livejournal.com profile] klig:

==============================================

In the end you have to ask yourself what good you're doing.

What have you done today to make the world a better place? What about in the last week? It doesn't have to be big, it just have to be something.

Improving the grim state of affairs doesn't happen by itself. What are you doing? Are you sitting in front of LiveJournal whining about how you would or you want to or about that time when you... It's irrelevant, all of it, unless you're taking steps. No-one is going to ask your opinion.

Care about third world hunger? Sponsor a child. Hate the government? Get involved in politics (and fucking vote too). Pissed off about pollution? Ride a bike or take the bus. Pissed off about your dead-end job that helps no-one? Go back to school, volunteer, stop moaning.

Oh, you mean well? I've got news for you - "He means well" is code for "he's paralysed by fear and won't exert the minimum effort required to help make the world better for everyone". Everyone means well, not everyone does well. Every time you tell me that when you're rich you'll donate money to charity I wonder why you can't do it now. Everyone reading this is rich compared to someone.

Of course, change doesn't happen overnight. That's obvious to anyone with eyes. But for every minute that you delay on the grounds that "I don't know how to make a difference" someone else is making a difference for themselves. I've seen far too many intelligent, talented people get into a dither over how best to use their skills to care what excuses they come up with. Anything you do will be an improvement. Start small and take it from there. Because if you don't try you can't succeed, and you might as well be dead.


========================================

Yay, verily.

And in a related vein - it doesn't take much to do something. To give something back. And there are endless ways to be creative in finding ways to do it.

========================================

How Can I Help?

Host Marty Goldensohn asks that question and it takes us to carpenters fixing houses for free, librarians defending the Constitution and video store clerks who have taken customer service to a high art. Plus, the ultimate civil servant, Joseph Califano, Jr.---once a Pentagon whiz kid, then a lawyer fighting First Amendment cases, then a Cabinet member of HEW---he now helps people nation-wide escape addiction. From telephone operators to Washington insiders, we find out "how can I help?" All that and more in this edition of Been There / Done That.

Listen to the story here.

So WTF are you waiting for?
my_window_seat: (Default)
From a brief exchange with [livejournal.com profile] jackandhishat , which, along with other things, I'd like to go into in a more coherent way - and which will not happen tonight.

Tonight, I think I need a dose of Eddie Izzard. I just do.

Anyway - a snippet of my disorganized thoughts on the concept of improving the world instead of just fucking whinging on about how shitty it is:

I think one thing that could be of incalculable value to a world spinning hideously off-center at the moment would be if more people would do something without profit motive to make it a better place. Specifically, volunteering.

And yes, I realize, everyone and their dog is so tied up with making ends meet that not everyone has the luxury, but what's sad is that so many don't realize that it's not as hard to find the time and resources to do something for their community as they might think.

And it doesn't have to be a drudgery. It can be giving something of yourself that you like doing anyway - just doing it in an environment where it aids or enriches someone else at the same time.

Have a favorite hobby? Say you're a freak for video games - go to an elementary school and give a one-off causual presentation about strategy or programming or the artwork or story editing used to create games. Do art much? Give a demostration in painting, or sculpture, or whatever damn medium/method it is you like - drawing, collage, photography, painting polka dots on birdhouses - WHATEVER. Like to read? Offer to do a story time at the library; if they already have a story time in place, fill a slot, if they don't - start one. Athletic? Go to a high school and offer to talk to a class about climbing, biking, swimming, weight-training - whatever it is you do. Are you a writer? Visit a retirement home - or again, a school, elementary or high school; teach a one-off workshop, or just conduct a discussion or critiquing group where you don't even have to talk much, just orchestrate.

I push the offering of services to school so much for why? Because teachers can use your help. In whatever capacity, however much or little you might be able to offer. Because they are trying to do so much with so very little, and every little bit helps. Because a break in routine always refreshes both the class and the teacher. Because it's something that nearly anyone can do, with anything they already enjoy doing.

Point?

Giving something of yourself, without expecting to get anything back other than the enjoyment of doing it, in whatever capacity and in whatever way brings you pleasure, adds a small spark of humanity and sanity back to the world. It adds some balance to the horror. Plus, it's something that takes your mind away, if only for an hour or two at a time, from all the things that are wrong in the world, while doing so in a constructive and meaningful way.

Go to an animal shelter or wildlife preserve and feed, walk or wash animals, even just once a month. Be a Docent at the Zoo or the Aquarium (bonus: you get free admission and get to see and touch stuff regular patrons can't. Heh.). Read a book to a senior citizen. Be a math or english tutor. Hold babies or play a game with kids in a Critical Care pediatric ward.

Stop fucking bitching about how horrible everything is. Do something to make it better.

This is where this rant just sort of dribbles off into nothingness and fatigue...
my_window_seat: (Foamy)
Brought to my attention, and now yours, you lucky bastard, via the awesome posting powers of (formerly) Albuquerque's own Ms. Diva Marie on the NM Goth boards:

===============================================

Regardless of your stance on the use (or abuse) of illegal substances,
the following just screams of fascism......cavity searches for *everyone*!

Diva


***

New Attack on Raves and Live Music
Defend Your Right to Dance!

Dear Fellow Reformer,

Last year our supporters helped raise attention to an outrageous abuse
of power in Racine, Wisconsin, where hundreds of music fans were
ticketed for being in a crowded nightclub where a few people used
drugs. Those ticketed had no drugs on them. The police didn't even
have any evidence that they had ever used drugs. Their only "crime"
was dancing at a nightclub where other people who used drugs were
arrested. Although only three drug arrests were made, police issued
citations to 445 innocent attendees with a penalty of $968 each for
being "patrons of a disorderly house." Thanks to a public outcry from
people like you, work by the Drug Policy Alliance, and an ACLU
lawsuit, the citations were ultimately dismissed.

Now, it has happened again; this time in Flint, Michigan. On Saturday
the local police raided a popular nightclub, Club What's Next, and
ticketed music fans who were attending a dance night known as "Getting
Lucky" (the DJs included Halluci-Nate, Sparkimus Prime, White Rabbit,
Captain Cheddar and California's Dj Primo.) While some people were
arrested for possessing or selling illegal drugs, most people were
ticketed for "frequenting a drug establishment," a misdemeanor offense.

Speak out against this abuse of power now.

That's right. In Flint, Michigan (and many other cities) if you go out
dancing on a Saturday night and the police happen to arrest other
people at the club for drugs, you could be charged with a drug crime
even though you had nothing to do with drugs. These innocent
party-goers now face up to 90 days in jail and a $500 fine. They also
face a criminal record with all the legal and social barriers that
brings. Several people at the club that night told us club-goers were
also subjected to strip searches, including full cavity searches –
even though they had nothing to do with drugs. Imagine the police
walking into your favorite bar or nightclub and making you submit to a
strip search for no reason! Imagine spending 90 days in jail or paying
a $500 fine for dancing!

The raid on Club What's Next was conducted by Flint's Special
Operations and Crime Area Target Team units, along with the Flint Area
Narcotics Group and the Genesee County Sheriff's Posse. We're looking
into whether or not federal Byrne grant money helped finance the
raids. (On a side note, any law enforcement agency that has the word
"posse" in it should be suspect).

You can send a message that this type of action is unacceptable by
doing two things:

1) Contact the Flint City Council and Mayor (via
http://tinyurl.com/3j23c) and let them know how appalled you are that
the city mistreats music fans and allows the police to punish people
for the crimes of others.

2) Forward this alert to your e-mail lists and to friends and
family. We need to flood the Flint political establishment with faxes
and emails.

The Drug Policy Alliance would like to give a special thanks to Will
Patterson at the Electronic Music Defense Fund (EM:DEF) for alerting
us to this scandal. He found out about the incident because one of the
club-goers filed an incident report on EM:DEF's web site (at
http://www.emdef.org/incidentreport.html). If your rights are ever
violated by the police at a music event, you can file a similar report
there. Copies of incident reports go to EM:DEF, the ACLU, and the Drug
Policy Alliance.

Profile

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