Sunday, December 30, 2007

Free Gear - Show your support and help get the word out is an important part of Canada's anti-war movement. You can read about their work here plays a crucial role in many campaigns, including preventing Canada from joining George W. Bush's "Star Wars" missile defence program. This important work could not be done without the help of our supporters. needs your help to sign up new activists. We are making available Gear; which include sign-up cards and pins that can be handed out to friends and family. Each completed sign-up card you send back to us is an additional person who will join us in taking action on key issues facing our country.

Please order your free Gear, which includes 25 sign-up cards and 3 pins today!

The pins are pretty snazzy.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Special Coverage of Benazir Bhutto's Assassination

Global Voices, the website that aggregates blog postings from all over the world, has set up a special coverage page for the assassination of Benazir Bhutto. It has English language commentary from bloggers in Pakistan and other regions.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

It's Our Web

Cute animation. Fight the restrictatrons (Like the evil Goozle) with the freedomtrons (like Wikiator, Foxator, and of course,

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Miss Landmine Angola

In places in the world that have experienced war, especially if protracted as in Angola, bodies are far less likely to be "whole" and more likely be missing limbs. Even here in the West, people with disabilities are too often invisible, and a "whole" or "perfect" body is a precondition for the designation "beautiful". When was the last time you saw a model in a magazine or an actress on television who was missing a limb, or was even in a wheelchair? Can we not bear the fact that bodies reflect their experiences, sometimes in very visible ways? Would we rather the scars stay psychological, intimate, secret - so we don't have to be invested in others' pain? Or can we not wrap our minds around the fact that a wounded body does not necessarily mean a victim to be pitied? Do we not also then miss out on something important - the strength and bravery and, indeed, beauty of survivors?

A line at the upper left-hand corner of the picture reads "Everybody has the right to be beautiful." The woman standing below is surely that, dressed in beauty-pageant regalia, Atlantic waves meeting Angolan sands behind her. She is Miss Landmine Angola 2007. Showcased in the photograph are the attributes classically aligned with feminine beauty: high cheekbones, full lips, a curvaceous figure. Yet it is what the photograph, shot from the waist up, hides that makes her beauty a thing unparalleled, unusual, both tragic and wonderful. The lower half of her left leg is missing, a testament to her encounter with a landmine. She is one of several women featured in the Miss Landmine Angola project to raise awareness about the world's plague of landmines and to empower those who have survived them. Learn about the project and see this year's contestants at Via Utne

Whatever one thinks of beauty pageants, this one has a positive message. The crowning of the world's first Miss Landmine will be taking place in Luanda, Angola on April 4th, 2008, the UN International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action. Vote for candidates here.


Monday, December 03, 2007

Greg Palast on the anti-Chavez Hysteria

As Arturo Quiran, resident of a poor folks' housing complex, told me, "Ten, fifteen years ago... there was a lot of oil money here in Venezuela but we didn't see it." Notably, Quiran doesn't particularly agree with Chavez' politics. But, he thought Americans should understand that under Chavez' Administration, there's a doctor's office in his building with "free operations, x-rays, medicines. Education also. People who never knew how to read and write now know how to sign their own papers."

Not everyone is pleased. As one TV news anchor, violently anti-Chavez, told me in derisive tones, "Chavez gives them (the poor) bricks and bread!" - how dare he! - so, they vote for him.

Big Oil has better ideas for Venezuela, best expressed in several Wall Street Journal articles attacking Chavez for spending his nation's oil wealth on "social programs" rather than on more drilling platforms to better fill the SUVs of Texas.

Chavez has committed other crimes in Washington's eyes. Not only has this uppity brown man spent Venezuela's oil wealth in Venezuela, he withdrew $20 billion from the US Federal Reserve. Weirdly, Venezuela's previous leaders, though the nation was dirt poor, lent billions to the US Treasury on crap terms. Chavez has said, Basta! to this game, and has called for keeping South America's capital in... South America! Oh, no!

Oh, and did I mention that Chavez told Exxon it had to pay more than a 1% royalty to his nation on the heavy crude the company extracted?

Like the rest of us, Palast doesn't agree with everything Chavez does, but he supports the right of the Venezuelan people to make their own decisions. He objects to the lies and misinformation - for instance he finds Chavez to be wildly popular, unlike the portrayal in the international media.

It's worth noting that Chavez' personal popularity doesn't extend to all his plans for "Bolivarian" socialism. And that killed his referendum at the ballot box. I guess Chavez should have asked Jeb bush how to count votes in a democracy.

So there you have it. Some guy who thinks he can take Venezuela's oil and oil money and just give it away to Venezuelans. And these same Venezuelans have the temerity to demand the right to pick the president of their choice! What is the world coming to?

In Orwellian Bush-speak and Times-talk, Chavez' referendum was portrayed before the vote as a trick, Saddam goes Latin. Maybe their real fear is that Chavez has brought a bit of economic justice through the ballot box, a trend that could spread northward. Think about it: Chavez is funding full health care for all Venezuelans. What if that happened here?

Read the Rest over at

Also check out the coverage over at Paulitics: details about the proposed reforms and on media coverage