What White People Fear

Yes Magazine

by Robert Jensen

In a white-dominated world, that may seem counterintuitive. In the racial arena, what do we white people have to be afraid of?

There are lots of things to fear in this world, of course; race is not the only aspect of life in which people face injustice and inequality. A majority of people of all colors (including working-class and poor whites) struggles economically in a predatory corporate capitalist system, and all women, regardless of race, cope with gender discrimination and the threat of sexual violence in a male-dominated world. Continue reading What White People Fear

Climategate Claptrap, I

This article appeared in the May 3, 2010 edition of The Nation.

By Mark Hertsgaard

AVENGING ANGELS
Mark Twain famously said that there are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics. He could just as easily have included polls. Advocates across the political spectrum habitually cite polls to “prove” that the public holds a certain view of a given issue, even when the truth is more complicated or even contradictory. This appears to be happening with the climate issue. As the Obama administration and Congressional leaders prepare to introduce new climate legislation, mainstream media have given fresh prominence to deniers’ claims of fraud and rampant error on the part of climate scientists. Continue reading Climategate Claptrap, I

Awarding of Brazilian Dam Contract Prompts Warning of Bloodshed

The Guardian

Indigenous leader says men are preparing their bows and arrows to prevent construction of the Belo Monte dam

by Tom Phillips in Rio de Janeiro

People from several tribes and social movements protest in front of the National Electric Energy Agency (ANEEL) in Brasilia. Brazil speedily awarded the tender for a controversial hydro-electric dam projected to be the world’s third-largest, despite fierce opposition from environmentalists.… (AFP/Evaristo Sa)

Indigenous leaders in Brazil are warning of imminent violence after a successful tender for the rights to construct a giant hydro-electric plant in the Brazilian Amazon which opponents claim will wreak havoc on the rainforest and its inhabitants.

The tender for the Belo Monte dam, on the Xingu river in the state of Pará, was won by a consortium of Brazilian companies on Tuesday, taking the government one step closer towards the construction of the £7bn dam, which would reputedly be the third biggest of its kind, with the capacity to produce some 11,000MW of power. Continue reading Awarding of Brazilian Dam Contract Prompts Warning of Bloodshed

Brazil awards rights to develop Belo Monte dam

BBC

Indigenous tribes say the Belo Monte dam poses a threat to their way of life A consortium of nine companies has won the right to build a hydroelectric dam on a tributary of the Amazon in Brazil.

Brazil’s electricity regulator said the Norte Energia consortium would build the Belo Monte dam, to which indigenous groups and environmentalists object.

It is led by the state-owned Companhia Hidro Eletrica do Sao Francisco. Continue reading Brazil awards rights to develop Belo Monte dam

Ratzinger’s Responsibility

‘Scandalous wrongs cannot be glossed over, we need a change of attitude’

National Catholic Reporter

Hans Kung

Hans Kung

After Archbishop Robert Zollitsch’s recent papal audience, he spoke of Pope Benedict’s “great shock” and “profound agitation” over the many cases of abuse which are coming to light. Zollitsch, archbishop of Freiburg, Germany, and the chairman of the German Bishops’ Conference, asked pardon of the victims and spoke again about the measures that have already been taken or will soon be taken. But neither he nor the pope have addressed the real question that can no longer be put aside. Continue reading Ratzinger’s Responsibility

Marking the day 40 years ago when the green revolution began

McClatchy Newspapers

Rocky Barker
BOISE, Idaho — One U.S. senator and a core of young organizers turned April 22, 1970, into the day the environmental movement was born.

On that day, 20 million Americans in 2,000 communities and 10,000 schools planted trees, cleaned up parks, buried cars in mock graves, marched, listened to speeches and protested how humans were messing up their world. Continue reading Marking the day 40 years ago when the green revolution began

Workers’ Rights & Immigration Enforcement

National Immigration Law Center

The POWER Act Would Provide Key Protections for Immigrant Workers, Securing Fair Labor Standards for Everyone. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), flanked by the Rev. Jesse Jackson and other civil rights as well as union leaders, today introduced the Protect Our Workers from Exploitation and Retaliation (POWER) Act on Capitol Hill.  Crafted in response to reports across the country of employers using immigration enforcement to retaliate against workers who step forward to claim their workplace rights, the bill is designed to thwart the use of immigration law to quash workers’ efforts to promote fair labor practices. Here are statements by Marielena Hincapié, NILC’s executive director, and Tyler Moran, NILC’s policy director. READ THE NEWS RELEASE ›› (Posted 4/14/10) Continue reading Workers’ Rights & Immigration Enforcement

Land Grabs Continue as Elites Resist Regulation

By Hilaire Avril
PARIS, Apr 13 , 2010 (IPS) – A year after the purchases of vast swathes of farm land in Africa first drew public attention, transactions remain as opaque as ever.

Private companies are resisting a global code of conduct that would ensure transparency and local elites continue to benefit from deals that encourage corruption and increase food insecurity.

The hunger riots witnessed in parts of the developing world in the past two years were the most visible and direct effect of sky-rocketing food prices. Simultaneously, international investors started purchasing agricultural land in some of the most fertile regions of the world, particularly Africa. Continue reading Land Grabs Continue as Elites Resist Regulation

Japan: ‘Bombed Mary’ statue brings home anti-nuclear message

Independent Catholic News

‘Bombed Mary’ – statue salvaged from ruins of Nagasaki Cathedral

The Catholic Church in Japan has submitted a petition of 16,000 signatures to the prime minister calling for immediate strict limitations and an eventual ban on nuclear arms. They also plan to display a statue of  the Virgin Mary which survived the atomic bomb on Nagasaki.

Archbishop Joseph Mitsuaki Takami of Nagasaki and Auxiliary Bishop Michael Goro Matsuura of Osaka led a delegation to personally present the petition, appealing for  governments to “strive proactively for the abolition of nuclear weapons,” to deputy chief cabinet secretary Yorihisa Matsuno on April 19. Continue reading Japan: ‘Bombed Mary’ statue brings home anti-nuclear message

Anti-American anger grows in Afghanistan

Globe and Mail

Protesters take to the streets after U.S. troops open fire on passenger bus outside Kandahar city, killing four civilians

SONIA VERMA

Afghan police and onlookers gather around the bus that U.S. forces opened fire on in Kandahar city on Mon., April 12. Four civilians were killed in the incident. Ahmad Nadeem/Reuters

U.S. troops fired on a crowded passenger bus on the outskirts of Kandahar city, killing four civilians and injuring 18 others, stoking anti-American protests that promised to complicate a massive offensive against Taliban insurgents this summer.

Although the military command issued an apology, saying it “deeply regrets the tragic loss of life,” Monday’s incident cast fresh doubts on Operation Omid, billed as the pivotal offensive of the war, which will see tens of thousands of NATO troops attempt to seize control of Kandahar. Continue reading Anti-American anger grows in Afghanistan