January 6, 2008

JibJab 2007 Review

Cartoon: Bush Library

Waiting for the Guards

This short video from Amnesty International reenacts a CIA-approved "stress position." If it looks simple, imagine being forced to do it for hours in secret prisons. The Justice Department is currently investigating interrogation tapes that were destroyed.

January 5, 2008

Film: Rendition

For the Hollywood version of how we're treating suspected terrorists watch Rendition in February. If you're looking for facts, watch the Frontline documentary, Extraordinary Rendition. (Thanks Cody) Click here for more information about extraordinary rendition.

NJ Ends Death Penalty

After passing both houses by a slight majority, Gov. Jon Corzine signed legislation to end the death penalty in New Jersey. "It's time New Jersey got out of the execution business," Democratic Assemblyman Wilfredo Caraballo said. "Capital punishment is costly, discriminatory, immoral and barbaric. We're a better state than one that puts people to death." (MSNBC)

Hopefully this will provide some energy to build the national movement towards abolition in the United States. There is also momentum building globally as can be seen in the "United Nations General Assembly nonbinding global moratorium on the death penalty that was approved in December.

Quote: Desmond Tutu

"Whoever imagined that you would hear from the United States and from Britain the same arguments for detention without trial that were used by the apartheid government."
Desmond Tutu

Cigna vs. Nataline

Nataline Sarkisyan, age 17, died just hours after Cigna reversed its decision not to pay for a liver transplant. Her story of tragedy and injustice and the stories of so many Americans should inspire us to fix our broken healthcare system. Michael Moore may be a crazy nut to some people, but his film SiCKO was of vital importance in this struggle. Change is going to happen.

Telecom Immunity

Chris Dodd has been the leading force to ensure that the phone companies do not receive immunity for assisting the government in illegally spying on Americans.
ACT: Email your Senator or call a member of the Sen. Judiciary Committee.

FCC Consolidation

Despite public outcry during their community meetings, the negative effect on small businesses and minorities, the FCC voted 3-2 to loosen rules on big media.
ACT: Tell congress to overturn the vote.

Best Democrat

Just before the Iowa caucus Michael Moore published an article on which democratic presidential candidate is best, based on the issues.

I guess if I didn't have reservations about a candidate, they would probably never get elected. Whoever does get the nomination will probably get elected in 2008; I just hope that they do not completely sell out to corporations and the military.

Updates

Children's Healthcare
After vetoing SCHIP twice, President Bush has extended children's health insurance for another year. Efforts to expand the program will have to resume next year.

Farm Bill
The Senate has passed a version of the farm bill. There are some modest improvements, but farm subsidies have remained largely in tact. To Bush's credit, he is threatening a veto because it does not cut subsidies enough. Evidently this is connected to cases pending against the US with the WTO.

Events

Interfaith Children’s Movement of Metropolitan Atlanta (ICMma)
January 8, 6:30pm @ Druid Hills UMC

Georgia Progressive Summit
January 11-13 @ Clark University
View the schedule online

A-Bomb Exhibit & Survivor Talk
January 12, 3:00pm/4:00pm @ 11:11 Teahouse
753 Edgewood Ave NE, Atlanta

Invisible Chapel Screening (GALEO)
January 15, 7:00pm @ Agnes Scott>Evans Hall

Atlanta King March
January 21, 1:00pm @ Peachtree & Baker

God Loves That Guy

In the midst of finals I was impacted greatly by two events that occurred. First was the debate in the New Jersey Assembly over the death penalty. Glued to my uncomfortable computer chair, I excitingly watched the live streaming video of the legislators debating the merits of the death penalty. While I am extremely pleased to see this accomplishment in New Jersey and in America, I am still troubled by the words of one of the speakers. Assemblywoman Marcia Karrow kept insisting that the the men on death row were monsters and not even worthy to be called human.

The second event that has stuck with me is an Andrew Peterson Christmas concert I attended. Featuring several musicians, Andy Gullahorn played a song called "That Guy." Not only was this song different than just another Christian song about falling in love with Jesus, this song had a hard message. The lyrics challenge people to love like God loves, including the guy who blows himself up, the guy who commits adultery and suicide, and themselves.

It wasn't until a few days later when everything sort of hit me. From the comments from the legislator, the debate over water-boarding and torture, to my frustration with my president--God loves all of those people and we are to love like that. We are to love the suicide bomber and the B-1 bomber pilot, the abortion clinic doctor and the abortion clinic bomber; we are to love all people because that is what Christ taught and because everyone is created in the image of God. Can you hear the words of Raul Julia, playing Oscar Romero, yelling in prison at the torturers, "WE ARE HUMAN BEINGS! WE ARE HUMAN BEINGS!" Sometimes I think God may be shouting, "THOSE ARE MY CHILDREN! STOP HURTING THEM!"

I hope you'll watch my video below featuring Andy Gullahorn's song.