Damaged Goods

March 8, 2010

Birth of the blog / International Women’s Day

Filed under: Uncategorized — dandamage @ 10:27 pm
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This is yet another attempt to start a blog on my part. Scattered previous efforts litter the Internet. My hopes for this blog are:

– Provide links to several important articles / news stories each day, on topics ranging from the situation facing the U.S. working class to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to the LGBT rights movement to science and the environment to … well, everything. I hope to use the blog as an archive for them, so that others can have easier access to them as well.

– Publish my own writings on various topics, including book and music reviews, short explanations and links to things I think are awesome, and more.

I will explain more later. But, since today is International Women’s Day, I thought I should provide some links!

Malalai Joya, Afghan activist

1. I recently finished A Woman Among Warlords, the autobiography of Malalai Joya, the youngest member of the Afghan Parliament (from which she was expelled for denouncing the criminals who hold most of the other seats in the Afghan Parliament). With 100,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan right now, at an estimated cost of $1 million/soldier, at the same time as tens of millions are jobless, etc., I think it’s about the most important book any American could read right now. This is particularly true given how the U.S. corporate media refuses to cover incidents like NATO’s admission that the 8 teenage boys the U.S. killed in their beds (one was actually 11) was a “mistake,” despite initial claims (lies) that they belonged to an explosives-manufacturing ring (which of course justifies executing kids in their beds as they sleep). Joya’s book reveals the reality of the U.S. occupation, which is working to prop up one of the most corrupt governments in the world, which remains in power thanks to its alliance with brutal warlords. She is one of the true heroes alive today. I will be posting a review here soon. For now, become a fan of Malalai Joya on Facebook!

2. International Women’s Day in Hong Kong, from chinaworker.info

Women in Hong Kong protested the exploitation of Indonesian migrant workers, the exclusion of housewives from retirement plans, and a horrendous sexist attack against a leading pro-democracy campaigner in the media.

Women in Hong Kong protested sexism and the exploitation of women workers

Women migrants in Asia and around the world are facing the brunt of the crisis of capitalism, as ChinaWorker.info explains here.

3. Most people are familiar with Helen Keller’s heroic struggle to communicate despite being deaf and blind. But fewer are familiar with what she actually ended up communicating. She became a serious anti-war activist and socialist, and in 1916 gave one of the greatest anti-war speeches ever given, “Strike Against War.”

Her speech closes, “Strike against all ordinances and laws and institutions that continue the slaughter of peace and the butcheries of war. Strike against war, for without you no battles can be fought. Strike against manufacturing shrapnel and gas bombs and all other tools of murder. Strike against preparedness that means death and misery to millions of human being. Be not dumb, obedient slaves in an army of destruction. Be heroes in an army of construction.”

I recommend reading the whole thing.

Finally, with all the seemingly re-emergent strength of the right-wing in this country, while the Democrats counsel patience, I think it’s an apt time to share these words from Martin Luther King, Jr, on the myth of time:

“Time is neutral. It can be used either constructively or destructively. And I am sorry to say this morning that I am absolutely convinced that the forces of ill will in our nation, the extreme rightists of our nation – the people on the wrong side – have used time much more effectively than the forces of good will. And it may be that we have to repent in this generation. Not merely for the vitriolic words and the violent actions of the bad people, but for the appalling silence and indifference of the good people who sit around and say, ‘Wait on time.’”

“Somewhere we must come to see that human progress never rolls in on the wheels of inevitability. It comes through the tireless efforts and the persistent work of dedicated individuals who are willing to be co-workers with God. And without this hard work, time itself becomes an ally of the primitive forces of social stagnation. So we must help time and realize that the time is always ripe to do right.”

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