Tuesday, December 04, 2012

When Was the Last Time I Did a Round Up of Good Shit to Read?

I don't even know.  But as I was linkspamming the shit out of my Facebook friends (sorry y'all) I thought to myself that really I should be doing this here....  And it's going to be quite the clusterfuck of various areas of my interest and their recent discussion in media, so buckle up.  You're welcome!  :D

Cleveland anarchist bomb plot aided and abetted by the FBI
Rather than target real risks of domestic terror, like neo-Nazis, the FBI entrapment machine demonises anarchists and Muslims
A+ priorities and strategies FBI!  /sarcasm  This is one of the reasons why I am so burned out on anything professing to be "law and order" or "security" matters.  We're creating terrorists so we can catch them...instead of looking at ACTUAL TERRORIST GROUPS like neo-Nazis.  Oh, ok.

The homeless man and the NYPD cop's boots: how a warm tale turns cold
A picture that started as a seasonal heartwarmer has now become a reason not to feel sorry for the homeless as Hillman is painted as a wilful eccentric.
I was really struck by this story and what a great example it is of the demonization of the poor, the way that there is only one "proper" way to BE poor, and the way deviance from that narrative is SOUGHT OUT by people and then used to blame the poor for their situation and thus absolve all others of any complicity or guilt in the system that keeps them there.  I also think this overlaps with my final story....

In solidarity for the respect of Holy Places
In appreciation of the many gestures of solidarity from the Muslim world following the recent desecration of Christian Holy Places, the Auxiliary Bishop of Jerusalem, Bishop William Shomali, visited Al-Aqsa Mosque on Thursday, October 4 where he met Grand Mufti Mohammad Hussein and the grand magistrate of the mosque Abdel Adhim Salhab...The Bishop also assured Muslims the support of the Christian community with respect to their holy places.
People not being assholes.  I felt like I should mix it up a little bit.

Homefulness! A Real Solution to Houselessness
Homefulness, a project of POOR Magazine, is a solution of interdependence, love, and equity-sharing for landless youth, adults, and elders across Pachamama. It is a poor people-led, self-determined, truly green model for housing, art, microbusiness, spirituality, interdependence, self-accountability, caregiving, and community that incorporates the teaching of our elders, ancestors, and spiritual leaders in harmony with Mother Earth. We aim to create permanent and lasting solutions to houselessness for families in poverty who have been displaced, evicted, gentrified, and destabilized out of their indigenous lands and communities.
An IndieGoGo campaign that I would really encourage you to participate in, if you can!

Remember Their Names: In Memory of Kasandra, Cherica & Others
This tragic story pushes to the forefront an important issue in terms of domestic violence and murder. When the murderer is famous, attractive, rich, or charming people don’t want to believe that they are guilty. I don’t pretend to know Jovan Belcher’s heart, motives, or mind set when he fired numerous gunshots into the body of his baby’s mother, and then turned the gun on himself. I don’t know why his only option, in that moment, felt like a desperate one. I don’t know what caused him to murder Kasandra, but what I do know is that it was not Kasandra’s fault. I know that staying out until 1 o’clock in the morning at a concert was not an invitation to die. I know that it doesn’t matter what she wore that night, or what she may have said, or whether or not she may have been intoxicated, or rolled her eyes at him, or called him out of his name, or talked to another guy in passing, she didn’t deserve to die.

Nigeria: Security Forces Open Fire On Protesting Ogoni Community
Armed security forces protecting the interest of the Anglo-Dutch oil and gas major, Shell, on Friday, opened fire on a protesting Ogoni community in the Rivers State axis of Southern Nigeria. The community, Eleme, was protesting against the presence of some Shell officials at the Ebubu Oilfield.

U.S. finalizes $3.4 billion settlement with American Indians
The missing funds at the center of the class-action case involve what are called Individual Indian Money accounts, which are supposed to represent the property of individual Indians. The accounts are held by the United States as trustee.
The lawsuit had accused the government of failing to account for the money, failing to make proper payments, and converting tribal money for the government's own use.
In making the announcement Monday, Obama remembered Cobell for "her honorable work." In 2009, she said that many represented in the class-action lawsuit "subsist in the direst poverty," and that the settlement is "significantly less than the full amount to which the Indians are owed."
This one made me happy, sort of, and also really fucking angry and sad.

The Adoption of Johnny Depp

A video from the 1491s recounting and dramatizing the events of Johnny Depp's adoption by LaDonna Harris of the Comanche nation. Not to be missed.  I'm serious.  Watch this shit.


An absolutely wonderful infographic on what "Trans" means!!!!!!!  <3

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell Confirmed for BBC Miniseries

If you've read this book, you know why I'm excited!

Who's Afraid of the Qassams?
So stopping Palestinian rockets is not a plausible explanation for Israeli attacks. Indeed, the Israeli leadership – at best – does not care much about such deaths, posturing to the contrary. There’s a reason for that. The Zionist political and intellectual elite makes a lot of cantankerous noises about the rockets falling on southern Israel, usually accompanied by the question, how would you respond if rockets were falling on your head? But less frequently noted is whose heads those rockets are falling upon. Sderot and other southern cities are not merely populated by Jewish Israelis. They are also populated by mostly Mizrahi, usually lower-class, Jewish Israelis, the outcome of a planning regime which puts some populations of Jews in some places and kept other populations of Jews in others. 
Sderot, summoned up so sedulously as the very symbol of Israeli terror and fear due to Hamas’s – mostly ineffectual – rockets was initially a transit camp for Kurdish and Persian Jews. Later, it was populated by Moroccans. And still later, Ethiopians and the darker Jews of the ex-Soviet Caucasus. That was where they were dumped, with the European elites concerned, according to a 1950 Jewish Agency brochure, that the darker Jews might create “quarters of poverty, filth, unemployment, and crime.” Accordingly, there needed to be “a greater effort to settle the immigrants in the countryside.” And so they were. 
[...]And so Tel Aviv, the cosmopolitan, Ashkenazi, cultural core of Israel could remain distant from the front lines of the conflict created by the policies pursued by its economic and political elites, while the cannon fodder on the Israeli periphery would bear their brunt.
So, yeah.  Let's keep this in mind when we're talking about rockets and "retaliation," yeah?

Finally, 'Squatters are not home stealers'
What the squatting dispute boils down to is a split between those who consider private property to be sacred, and those who would prioritise the right to shelter. Few people would happily forfeit a second home to squatters, but nor does it feel morally justifiable for a nation to have an estimated 930,000 empty homes while people sleep on the streets.

This is a really interesting article recounting the situation primarily for squatters in the UK, where a measure (section 144) was recently passed criminalizing them in new if not unprecedented ways, as well as in several other European countries and the United States.

The part I've highlighted here is, for me, one of the common denominators in all of these debates: private property and profit versus the right to shelter and measurements of worth outside of capitalist profit.

Even as I plan to buy a house one day and thus participate more directly than I currently do in the system of private property/profit (through equity), I really think we as communities need to THINK ABOUT what private property means to us, its "sacredness," its use for profit, and our priorities around use of space.  Because it's simply not a question of IF we have an excess of buildings - WE DO - and if people are going to put them to use as homes, gardens, community spaces; isn't that a GOOD THING?

I think it is. And I don't think everything needs to be about PROFIT, or that the use of space is only "good" if PROFIT is made.  But that's the way all this is constructed and POLICED right now.....

This is just one of those things I don't think many people know about, much less question. It's something I didn't know about or question until it was put in my face with the response to building "occupations" over the last couple of years.  So here I am...writing about it.