Friday, January 10, 2003

USA Patriot A*r*t

FREEDOM ILLUSTRATED -- The Art of Civil Liberties

"Artists have always been at the forefront of the global fight for free expression. Recently, they have pricked the nation's conscience in the face of Government assaults on individual rights in the name of national security."

"Beginning this month, the ACLU will present civil liberties issues online through the eyes of political cartoonists and other artists. This rotating feature will change periodically, and will cover breaking news on the full gamut of civil liberties issues. "

Go and look.
This is Sick

You sick, trigger-happy, pieces of shit. I hope you never enjoy a moment's peace. Tennessee police shoot family dog during erroneous pullover of North Carolina family. Idiots, idiots, idiots.

I am serious about my patriotism, which is why I get so angry, so worried about what's happening in my country right now. It's stories like this, and those of pregnant woman getting manhandled in airport security, of more and more mid-level authority figures over-the-fuck-reacting, as well as the Big-Time Fears™ of the US Constitution being fucking trampled on, that make me want to turn and RUN for the nearest border. Do not pass GO, do not collect $200. Just get out.

I am worse than appalled. I am flabbergasted and sickened.
Speaking of...

Lathe of Heaven films -- now on DVD, even the 1980 PBS one! Yes!

*click* *click*

Ordered. Ain't Amazon grand?

Wednesday, January 08, 2003

Define "wartime president"

Court Rules U.S. Can Hold Citizens as 'Enemy Combatants'

How Appealling scooped 'em all.
Grass-Roots v. National-Level Activism and the "Younger Generation(s)"

I was listening to NPR yesterday to a report on the students of a high school (either in Trenton NJ, or University City -- Philadelphia) who were participating in community service as part of their junior high/high school education. (Apparently it's the norm these days to require community service. I'm not so sure I'm happy with the mandatory nature of this, but that's not what I'm here to talk about.)

So, these kids are off developing great habits of helping members of their community, directly, individually, personally, and you know what the program is complaining about? That the kids aren't pursuing their activism at a national level.

Well, you can just cry me a river.

Honestly, I listened to this and said to myself, no matter what we "young people" do, the Boomer generation is always going to bitch about it.

Participating in grass-roots activism? Well, then why aren't you working at a national level?

Working at a national level? Well, then why aren't you serving your immediate community? There are soup kitchens that need staffing, dammit! (Be sure to accompany this with an outraged fist-on-the-table pounding.)

Why is individual activism attractive to people of my generation and younger? The post-Boomer era? I'll tell you why:

1. I can see the impact I have, right up front, and know that I'm truly affecting my community.
2. I've spent my entire life being yelled at by large blocs that my individual view isn't important, but hand over the money.
3. If I join a national organization, I'm furthering your agenda. If I lay my hands, money, and mind directly on the line, I'm furthering MY agenda. Given the ease of immediate, personal and direct speech, a la the Internet, why would I want 80% of my dollar to go to your ends? Sure, if I didn't have a closer, more direct outlet, I'd be pouring my heart and soul into NOW or the ACLU, trying to have an impact through that organization, and rightly so. But I don't need to.

Oh, poor you, big national structure suddenly abandoned. Gee.

So what. Who cares if we're the "Quieter Generations"? The ones who go volunteer in soup kitchens. Who fund scholarships at our local high school. Who buy books for the library one block over. Who give money to save the county animal shelter.

These are all things that need to be done, and they don't conflict with national activism. These high schoolers aren't going to skip voting because they're active on the local level. (No, they'll skip voting because they feel it has no impact. Recent presidential election a case in point). And as they get older, their idea of community, of local, will get much, much bigger.

So, be happy to see local activism. Because building a good world, and being a decent person is not just about federal legislation, about activism at the national level. Not just? More like hardly ever.

If you want to read an interesting book on the political activism of the "younger set", check out A New Kind Of Party Animal, by Michele Mitchell. The next time I hear someone lament about my slacker generation, I'm going to smack them in the face with a copy of it.

Tuesday, January 07, 2003

Go, Apple!

Apple's Keynote gearing up to go toe-to-toe against Microsoft Powerpoint.

"In August, the two companies let lapse a five-year deal that required Microsoft to develop software for the Mac platform. "

Interesting, interesting.

Big Truth Never Gets Obsolete

Really big, important truths never die, ever notice that?

"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." - C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity.

via Dollmont, thanks!

"They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security." -- Ben Franklin