Parents of the ‘disappeared’ warn of more drastic actions if no results in 48 hours.
Enrique Peña Nieto’s “Saving Mexico” Time magazine cover has angered many (a change.org petition has more than 12,000 signatures). “Slaying Mexico” was more fitting for one Twitter user. Image from Fox News Latino.
By Johnny Hazard | The Rag Blog | October 27, 2014
MEXICO CITY — On Wednesday, October 23, after a day of marches including one with hundreds of thousands of participants in Mexico City, parents of the 43 missing education students kidnapped by police in Iguala, Guerrero, on September 26 issued an ultimatum: if there were no real results in 48 hours, they would take more drastic actions.
The 48 hours passed with no governmental action except the apparent resignation of Ángel Aguirre, governor of Guerrero. “Apparent,” because he really asked for a leave of absence, a common tactic for Mexican politicians who want to see if they will be favored eventually by a forgive and forget policy. Carlos Navarrete, president of Aguirre’s (formerly) center-left party, the Partido de la Revolución Democrática, defended the governor effusively till the day before his resignation.
The U.S. has 550 military personnel in Africa on counterterrorism missions while over 5,000 Africans have succumbed to the non-military threat of Ebola.
Cuban doctors on their way to West Africa to fight Ebola, October 2014. Photo by EFE via telesur.
In what a New York Times editorial called “Cuba’s Impressive Role on Ebola” [Oct. 19], hundreds of Cuban doctors and nurses are being dispatched to West Africa to battle Ebola, train medical personnel, and create isolation and treatment centers. The Cubans are playing “the most robust role” of any country in battling the Ebola plague, which has erupted virulently because of a broad failure, according to the Times, “to produce medicines and vaccines for diseases that afflict poor countries.”
The U.S. has 550 military personnel in Africa on counterterrorism missions while over 5,000 Africans have succumbed to the non-military threat of Ebola. Cuba is taking action in part because Ebola, unchecked, will spread to the Caribbean, but also out a consistent sense of humanitarian duty which Washington fails to comprehend.
Posted in RagBlog
Tagged Counter-terrorism, Cuba, Cuban Doctors, Ebola, Health Care, Humanitarian Aid, Medical Epidemics, Rag Bloggers, Tom Hayden, U.S. Foreign Policy, West Africa
Just as a parasitical lancet fluke can direct an ant to climb up a blade of grass, we are unknowingly manipulated by cultural memes.
Ant on leaf of grass. Free will or “fluke” of nature? Image from The Telegraph.
What if your brain were taken over by a parasite and made you want something you would not ordinarily want? What if it took over your second-order thinking and made you want to want that thing? Would your will then be free?
This is not so far-fetched a scenario as it might seem. There are numerous examples of parasites infecting the brains of animals to make those animals act contrary to their own well-being. Here is one:
The United States’ political system, we are told repeatedly, is the gold standard for the world.
Image from Philosophers for Change.
Through her decades of entertaining on stage and screen, [Joan] Rivers developed numerous classic bits and catchphrases, but three small words stand above the rest: “Can we talk?” (Kelli Bender @kbendernyc, 09/04/2014, also at People.com)
I never liked comedienne Joan Rivers who died recently. But her famous one-line introduction to talk show interviewers and stand-up performances is a powerful reminder that certain subjects might be dangerous to discuss in polite company. Whether the United States’ political system is a democratic one is such a subject.
Everything we Americans have learned since infancy suggests that the United States is a democracy. In fact, the United States political system, we are told repeatedly, is the gold standard for the world.
Arthur Hertzberg believed that the quasi-religious reverence for Israel, right or wrong, tainted the beauty and grandeur of Judaism.
New York Jews say “No!” to the Israeli occupation, August 2011.
One of the smartest, most courageous and provocative rabbis I ever knew was Arthur Hertzberg, raised in a Hasidic family, a congregational rabbi, historian of Jewish life and Zionism, university professor, a member of the Zionist Jewish Agency who once publicly rebuked Prime Minister Golda Meir for her pro-Vietnam War views, and regularly criticized Israel’s occupation and settlement policies.
Hertzberg, who died in 2006, also took on American Jews for their unquestioning worship of Israel, wondering as well if Zionism and Judaism were identical. Judaism, he once told me (he wrote a regular column in a magazine I edited) was a faith of universal morality, not a nationality. The quasi-religious reverence for Israel, right or wrong, tainted the beauty and grandeur of Judaism. Too many rabbis, he wrote (in an article which inspired me to write a book about American rabbis), resembled “institutional executives” and were “entertainers” in sparsely attended non-Orthodox synagogues.
They are protesting the police killings and forced disappearances of students in the Mexican
state of Guerrero.
Thousands of striking university students and representatives of social organizations demonstrate in Mexico City, Wednesday, October 14, 2014. Photo by Mario Marlo / Somoselmedio.org
By Johnny Hazard | The Rag Blog | October 16, 2014
MEXICO CITY — Students at most public universities in the Mexico City metropolitan area are on strike for 24 to 48 hours. The student strike is part of the continuing protests against the September 26 police killings of five and forced disappearance of 43 students from the teacher preparation school in Ayotzinapa, Tixtla, Guerrero.
The students were ambushed — some shot, some kidnapped — by local police in Iguala, Guerrero, on September 25 and 26. On Tuesday, federal officials announced that, based on DNA evidence, at least some of the mass graves — which, according to cops who have been detained in connection with the crimes, contain the bodies of the students — in fact contain other corpses.
Posted in RagBlog
Tagged Angel Aguirre, Educational Reform, Guerrero, Instituto Politecnico Nacional, Johnny Hazard, Mexican Massacre, Mexican Student Movement, Mexican Student Strike, Mexico, Police Repression, Rag Bloggers
The first time I remember his face it had a smile directed toward me and I smiled back. From then on, when we saw each other we smiled.
Davey Brinn. Photo courtesy Lisa Belli.
My friend Davey Brinn died. It’s been over a year, closer to 18 months, but I just found out. We hadn’t seen each other for over 20 years. Somewhere along the way we lost touch with each other. Then we reconnected. Our reunion was only via email but it was one of my best days of this millennium. I wanted to see him — in my mind I started making plans. But I didn’t. And then he died.
Life plays funny tricks on you if you take it for granted. I thought I was pretty good in that regard. I slipped up on that one.
Posted in RagBlog
Tagged Austin Activists, Austin History, Civil Disobedience, Davey Brinn, Direct Action, East Lansing, Ken Wachsberger, Kent State, Mental Health, Michigan State, Radical Politics, Rag Bloggers, Sixties, Underground Press
‘The City is Ours’ examines both politically and socially the squatters’ movement in Europe over the past 40 years and provides a template for the movement’s future.
Essays on the squatters’ movement in Europe.
[The City is Ours: Squatting and Autonomous Movements in Europe from the 1970s to the Present, edited by Bart van der Steen, Ask Katzeff, and Leendert van Hoogenhuijze (September 2014: PM Press); Paperback; 336 pp; $21.95.]
British novelist Doris Lessing wrote a novel titled The Good Terrorist. The story revolves around an autonomous leftist cell in London that decides to step up their participation in the struggle against capitalism and imperialism by providing material support to the IRA. Eventually, the cell moves on to taking their own armed actions, which result in the death of one of their members.
The main character in the novel, a woman named Alice, has political and moral disagreements with the course she and her comrades have taken but remains committed to the course of action. The cell’s living quarters is in a squatted building in London. Unlike her fellow squatters, Alice takes an active interest in making the squat a livable quarters. Lessing’s descriptions of the squat and the work undertaken to make it livable are why I mention this work of fiction.
While the U.S. government lauds its Mexican counterpart, a new mass grave appears to contain bodies of ‘disappeared’ education students.
Students of the Instituto Politécnico Nacional are shown marching on Friday, September 30. 2014. They took over part of this highway, known as Circuito Interior, en route to various government buildings. Photo by Luis Ramírez Tamayo.
MEXICO CITY — By now many in the U.S. and most in Mexico have seen the evidence of what we feared: Mass graves were discovered Saturday that appear to contain the bodies of almost half of the about 50 education students murdered or “disappeared” since September 26 in Iguala, Guerrero.
Most were students of a “rural normal,” a teacher preparation school in Tixtla, Guerrero, in southwest Mexico. (Acapulco, Zihuatanejo, and Ixtapa are famous places in Guerrero, but the state as a whole is one of the poorest places in Latin America and was home to two major guerrilla movements in the 1970s.)