Archive for the ‘ Advocacy ’ Category

Walmart rattled by growing unrest ahead of Black Friday’s strike

Walmart rattled by growing unrest ahead of Black Friday’s strike.

via Walmart rattled by growing unrest ahead of Black Friday’s strike.

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Foxconn Chinese Employees just one symptom of the disease

Chris Prillo's headMy favorite Iowa expat, Chris Prillo, shone a light on an injustice in the tech community again on his blog. Writing from information gleaned from an article on M.I.C. Gadget:  The Real Truth Behind Foxconn’s Suicide Cluster. The M.I.C. Gadget article had a translation of the text from an article by a Chinese journalist who went undercover at the factory to see the conditions first hand.

Chris points out that the company is treating their employees as less than human and since they are making hundreds of millions of dollars in profits, they could pay them more, make them work fewer hours, and offer them a more stimulating work environment.

Kudos to you Chris!!

One of the commenters made the observation that the conditions are the result of the open market for labor. Another blamed the oppressive Chinese government. After these two comments, I just couldn’t remain silent! I spoke directly to the second issue, but the first is the underlying problem with unregulated capitalism.

These people are living in the worst position at the conjunction of several bad cultural paradigms. China is experimenting with allowing private enterprise to produce rewards for its citizens. The North American & much of the European market is full of people clamoring for more and more technology and other stuff for less and less money. Continue reading

Freedom of Religion with an Eagle Feather

I was reading on the American Humanist Association Blog, Rant & Reason and this article caught my attention:  Free Association on Religious Rights

The author was commenting on a story in the LA Times about a court case of a Native American killing an Eagle for use in a sacred ceremony.

The blogger Eagle Feathersseemed to be looking at both sides of the implications of using the birds for religious purpose and kept the argument general, not specific to the case. I read the LA Times article. The case will be settled by plea bargain because the initial dismissal was overturned by the appellate court and was rejected by the Supreme Court so it’s either plea or trial and a trial would be costly and drag on with absolutely no way to predict the outcome.

The post only had a few comments. One was a link to a UTube video with a strange pun preceding it. I didn’t watch it. It seemed to be a self-serving link, but I’m not sure. The other 2 comments made comments about the acquisition of Eagles for use by Native Americans.

One was a bit snide–if they want to hunt the birds as they did before the Europeans arrived, let them hunt them without rifles. While the idea of hunting with traditional weapons appeals to me in an aesthetic sense, I don’t think that’s how it was intended.

The other was a bit ignorant–use a substitute until the Eagles don’t need to be protected. )As if it is their fault the Eagles are endangered and if they will have to find a substitute anyway after they kill them all.) Like that’s not what so many people do already! dummy! What if you were a Christian and the gov’t said all communion needed to be served with apple juice because grapes are endangered? Personally, I see no problem with using apple juice. But the government shouldn’t force us to use it!

So I HAD to reply! and I wanted to share it with my readers. Here’s my comment. It’s a bit long, but I the subject motivated me on so many levels. I’ve copied it and reproduced it here (with minor grammatical corrections–I would have done in the original if I could have.)

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Our government has such a shameful record of making sure animals are treated humanely when raised in captivity that any thought of adding to the list of animals farmed should be forever banished from anyone’s list of options.

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Health Care for All Illinois

Health Care for All Illinois.

Supporting a Single-Payer State Health Insurance Program

The Left Can’t Remain Silent

PACG President Cathy Bolcom greets presidential candidate IL Senator Barack Obama at Rally in Davenport, IA

Cathy Bolkcom PACG President greets Presidential Candidate Senator Barack Obama in Davenport, Iowa

We won!! In 2008 WE WON!!

Barack Obama fulfilled our hopes and dreams and plans of the past 8 years that were shattered twice by George W Bush. The first time by a complacent country that was lulled by the prosperity of the Clinton Presidency and turned off by his peccadilloes. The second time our downfall was fears that if we threw our problem out, we’d be admitting to the world that we were weak and ready for invasion.

Exemplary campaigns did not preceded either election. Al Gore couldn’t quite get his public image right and the election results left us all stunned by the problems that finally decided the outcome.

In 2004, the field of candidates was broad and diverse. And the field moved up and down and up and down in the polls. And candidates made some questionable choices. And the media caught others in unflattering light.

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Democracy for America

Last week I attended the local Democracy for America (DFA) chapter meeting (DFA-QC). Democracy for America began as Dean for America—the campaign of Governor Howard Dean of Vermont for the 2004 Presidential Race. When Gov Dean failed to win the democratic primary after developing his unique online campaign network, the network knew that the need still existed for the work of the people involved even if the reason for its creation had not succeeded. The changed the name and we have been going strong ever since.

DFA-QC Member w/Flat Howard cut-out at a meeting

DFA-QC Member w/Flat Howard cut-out at a meeting

I met Governor Dean several times at fund-raising breakfasts hosted by the Quad Cities Federation of Labor and at meetings of Progressive Action for the Common Good (PACG). PACG is an award-winning grassroots organization in the Quad Cities of Iowa and Illinois that has several forum groups that address several issues of social justice including:  health care, the environment, and reclaiming moral values from the religious right. DFA-QC works under the umbrella of PACG coordinating events with the larger group and using the expanded resources of the group to reach the entire area.

I want to talk about our meeting last week, but I want to also let you know about the organization. So I will introduce the organization first by telling you how I became involved in it. Continue reading

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