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Member since: Sun Jul 31, 2011, 05:36 PM
Number of posts: 5,005

Journal Archives

Major Social Transformation Is a Lot Closer Than You May Realize

The current social movement that exploded onto the national scene with the 2011 Occupy Movement is following the path of successful movements so far. The social movement in 2014 is poised to begin an exciting era of broadening and deepening the growing consensus for social and economic justice.

This week, our article for the end of 2013 focuses on where we are, i.e. at what stage of the progression of social movements do we find ourselves; and broadly outlines the next steps. Next week, our article for the new year will look more specifically at the tasks ahead for the movement in 2014 and beyond.

Successful people-powered movements follow a similar arc of development. The best description comes from Bill Moyer’s The Movement Action Plan: A Strategic Framework Describing The Eight Stages of Successful Social Movements. We believe this is essential reading for activists and include a link to it on the strategy page on Popular Resistance. Moyer expanded this 1987 article into, Doing Democracy, a book published in 2001, a year before he died. You can see a video of Bill Moyer’s last public presentation where hesummarized the insights of his lifetime about how social movements grow and succeed, and about his vision of a new culture emerging through the cracks of a declining empire.



And to you NSA types, I am not inciting riot, that has already happened ....

Why Liberals Don’t Stand a Chance in the Corporate Media

Last March, when President Obama announced he was fast-tracking a bunch of deepwater oil leases, mainstream media commentators told us what a politically sophisticated move it was. He was showing the “courage” to defy his base among the anti-drilling crowd and when those dolphin-huggers screamed foul, he stood his ground. A few weeks later, when the Deepwater Horizon/Macondo oil disaster demonstrated how ecologically devastating this type of drilling can be, Obama’s previous pandering to Big Oil didn’t look so brilliant after all. The environmentalists among the Democratic base were right, the corporate media talking heads (and Obama) were wrong.

The president is fond of telling us that for real “change” to take place he needs to be pushed. People need to be organized and mobilized and move him in the direction they want him to go. He can’t “do it alone,” he says. But the environmentalists who opposed expanding deepwater drilling tried to heed his call and were brushed off like so many dandruff flakes. So were the people who tried to tell him that escalating the war in Afghanistan was a mistake. Maybe it will take a progressive challenger in the 2012 Democratic primaries to give Obama the push he’s longing for?

Commentators like the Wall Street Journal’s Gerald F. Seib, who penned an article a year ago titled “Irked Extremes May Mean a Happy Middle,” welcome any evidence that Obama is willing to forsake his base as a welcome dose of Realpolitik. The more “the professional Left” complains, the better. In Washington-speak it’s just assumed that the path to political success lies in Obama’s willingness to beat up the people who put him in office.

The corporate media reinforce this trope constantly. Unfortunately, MSNBC’s liberal news and commentary line-up, which is the best thing going for the Democrats right now in the television ether, presents a disjointed ideological message, like hosting a vegetarian cooking show while your sponsors run commercials for steak, pork, and veal.


Palmerston: The island at the end of the earth

It is one of the most isolated island communities in the world. The tiny Pacific island of Palmerston is visited by a supply ship twice a year - at most - and the long and hazardous journey deters all but the most intrepid visitors. What's more, most of its 62 inhabitants are descended from one man - an Englishman who settled there 150 years ago.

Nine days of constant movement. Nine days in a boat, unable to stand. Nine days with the fear of being hit by a tropical storm, thousands of miles from rescue. The Pacific Ocean is big. Far bigger than one would imagine. This is the journey to the island at the end of the earth.

Part of the Cook Islands, Palmerston is one of a handful of islands connected by a coral reef which surrounds the calm waters of a central lagoon. But within this entire area the reef sits too high in the water for sea planes to land - and outside it the ocean is simply too rough. It is also too far from anywhere for a normal helicopter to fly to. The sea is the only access.

So getting there is not easy. After two days of flying - from London via Los Angeles - we set off by boat from Tahiti.


The Chinese farmer who amputated his own leg

A Chinese farmer who sawed off his diseased leg because he could not afford hospital treatment bills has shone a spotlight on gaps in the health care system.

Zheng Yanliang, who is from Hebei province in north China, developed an infection in his leg last year and the blood circulation to it began to fail. That made the problem worse and gangrene set in.

By the time he went to the doctor, Mr Zheng, 47, was told he would need an operation and could lose his leg. It was then that Mr Zheng realised he was in big trouble.

"I asked how much it would cost to do this operation," he said.



and we think our health care is bad news ....

Giant rubber duck bursts in Taiwan

Source: BBC Asia

A giant yellow rubber duck on display in a Taiwanese port has burst in unexplained circumstances.

The 18 metre (50 foot) inflatable duck suddenly collapsed on Tuesday, only 11 days after it had been put on display in the port at Keelung.

Organisers are unsure as to the cause of its demise, but one theory is that it was attacked by eagles.

The duck was designed by the Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman to be a giant version of a popular bath toy.

Last month a similar duck was damaged elsewhere in Taiwan, when an earthquake triggered a power outage that caused it to deflate.

A third Taiwanese duck was brought ashore in September because of an approaching typhoon.

Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-25560771

Americans on Wrong Side of Pay Gap Run Out of Means to Cope

Rising income inequality is starting to hit home for many American households as they run short of places to reach for a few extra bucks.

As the gap between the rich and poor widened over the last three decades, families at the bottom found ways to deal with the squeeze on earnings. Housewives joined the workforce. Husbands took second jobs and labored longer hours. Homeowners tapped into the rising value of their properties to borrow money to spend.

Those strategies finally may have run their course as women’s participation in the labor force has peaked and the bursting of the house-price bubble has left many Americans underwater on their mortgages.

“We’ve exhausted our coping mechanisms,” said Alan Krueger, an economics professor at Princeton University in New Jersey and former chairman of President Barack Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers. “They weren’t sustainable.”



"They weren't sustainable" now who would have guessed that one .... coming out of Bloomberg, no less ...

Happy New Year, Earth, Happy New Year ...

NASA’s Juno spacecraft snapped this portrait of Earth on Oct. 9, 2013 as it used the home planet to gain some gravitational energy and slingshot itself toward Jupiter. I thought it would be a terrific image to finish the year with here at ImaGeo.

On its way past Earth, Juno received a boost in speed of more than 8,800 miles per hour (3.9 kilometers per second). But before the spacecraft bid adieu, South America posed for the JunoCam.

Juno will reach Jupiter in July, 2016 and will circle the giant gaseous planet for a year, snapping photographs and taking a variety of measurements. Here’s a summary from NASA of what Juno is designed to do:


Study: Happiness makes us feel warm all over

Do you feel red-faced when you're angry or embarrassed? Tight in the chest when you're anxious? Or butterflies in your stomach when you're in love?

It turns out our emotions are directly linked to sensations in specific parts of our bodies, according to a recent study by a team of Finnish researchers.

In five experiments, 700 online participants from Finland, Sweden and Taiwan were given outlines of a body and asked to color in the regions where they felt warmer or cooler in certain body parts in response to 13 emotions, including anger, fear, surprise, happiness and depression.

(Spend five minutes to take the test yourself.)

"When we first plotted the maps, it was like, wow, all the different emotions are so different," said Lauri Nummenmaa, one of the study's researchers and a professor at Aalta University in Finland.


The 124 states of America

Secessionist movements are all the rage these days. A handful of counties in Colorado tried to secede from the rest of the state earlier this year. There's an attempt to create the State of Jefferson (northern California/southern Oregon) via ballot initiative in 2014. And there's plenty more.

What would the U.S. look like if all of the secession movements in U.S. history had succeeded? Well, Mansfield University geography professor Andrew Shears built a map to answer that question. (It covers secession movements through the end of 2011.) His 124 states of America is below.

Click the map to enlarge it.


It's official: Pope has not abolished sin, says Vatican

Source: Reuters/Yahoo

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - The Vatican felt compelled on Tuesday to deny that Pope Francis had "abolished sin", after a well-known Italian intellectual wrote that he had effectively done so through his words and gestures.

The singular exchange began on Sunday when Eugenio Scalfari, an atheist who writes opinion pieces for the left-leaning La Repubblica newspaper, published an article titled "Francis' Revolution: He has abolished sin".

Scalfari, who held a long private conversation with the pope earlier this year and wrote about it several times, concluded in the complex, treatise-like article that Francis believed sin effectively no longer existed because God's mercy and forgiveness were "eternal".

Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi told Vatican Radio that "this affirmation that the pope has abolished sin" was wrong.

Read more: http://ca.news.yahoo.com/39-official-pope-not-abolished-sin-says-vatican-102908946.html

Now to all you non-sinning DUers, you knew this was true all along ...
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