Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell. Edward Abbey

10 December 2003

Just when I thought freedom of thought and expression on the web was dying, I read this ... Tech Bloom in full flower ... peer-to-peer power ... .

It seems there is hope. That hope is emblazoned on the pages of bloggers worldwide, peer-to-peer sharing, WiFi and my personal favourite: "Freekboxes" which are hacked together using free software and recycled parts and shipped to developing world human rights activists.

Viva freedom, viva

25 August 2003

Prisons - the new business opportunity

The new slave labour - the world's booming prison population. The rise of the prison-industrial complex ... "From worker, to unemployed, to criminal, to convict laborer, the cycle has come full circle. And the only victor is big business. For private business, prison labor is like a pot of gold. No strikes. No union organizing. No unemployment insurance or workers' compensation to pay. No language problem, as in a foreign country.

New leviathan prisons are being built with thousands of eerie acres of factories inside the walls.


Prisoners do data entry for Chevron, make telephone reservations for TWA, raise hogs, shovel manure, make circuit boards, limousines, waterbeds, and lingerie for Victoria's Secret. All at a fraction of the cost of "free labor. Prisoners can be forced to work for pennies because they have no rights. Even the 14th Amendment to the Constitution which abolished slavery, excludes prisoners from its protections." Read all about it at: http://www.prisonactivist.org/crisis/evans-goldberg.html.

TODAY'S TRIBUTE: The Zapatistas of southern Mexico who are fighting the onslaught of America pty ltd. For more about these astounding revolutionaries who are simply trying to save the world by saving their neighbourhood visit: http://www.zapatistas.org/.

ZAPATISTA COMANDANTA ESTHER SPEAKS! - "Primarily the women, it is they who feel the pain of childbirth. They see their children die in their arms from malnutrition, for lack of care. They also see their children without shoes, without clothing, because they do not have enough money to buy them, because it is they who care for the homes, they see that they do not have enough for food."

02 July 2003

There are around 500-million old computers now in storage in garages and cellars around the planet. Each monitor alone contains between 2 and 4 KILOGRAMS of lead. That' billions of kilograms of lead which - if it gets out into the environment - is going to cause devastation. Oh yes and lead is just one of the toxic substances in electronic equipment. Do we stop using computers or do we demand the computer manufacturers make computers that last longer and are easily updatable without having to buy new monitors and new casings?

Mobile phones will be discarded at a rate of 130 million per year by 2005. Is that new Nokia really worth it? That's another 65 000 tons of waste. You know what? Big business is not going to change. Their only aim is to make money. It is up to us to change the world. As long as we as consumers continue to consume at the current rate, we are self-annihilating.

RECYCLE, REUSE, LIVE!

Yes at the moment it's only snow leopards, pandas and wild dogs that are in danger of extinction. But 100 years from now maybe 200 or a thousand years from now. It will be all of us. And we will single handedly have destroyed life on earth. What idiots we are! What fools!

Today's hero: Karen Trendler who has (against many odds and despite opposition from many quarters) rehabilitated multitudes of injured and orphaned animals to the wild. Phambili Karen, Phambili Wildcare.

10 June 2003

TODAY'S TRIBUTE: goes to the http://www.bytesforall.org/ team. These people are committed to connecting the mass un-connected in the least developed countries (LDCs). Not only the technologies but also the problems, prospects, policies and social implications of such solutions are discussed. They aim to fulfil the need for an alternative-innovative mode of connectivity that can even change the whole information use and capabilities of the poor.

06 June 2003

Today attended an indigenous knowledge systems (IKS) workshop titled "Talking HIV/Aids Research: The interface between traditional healing and biomedical research." Scientists and traditional healers came face to face. Divining has never been well received by modern science but the interactions were interesting and maybe the two came a step closer in this context anyway. Let's heal ourselves and our people. 5million people across the world are HIV positive. let us care!

23 May 2003

Not a good week in Africa ... 1000 die in Algerian earthquake and the ceaseless, senseless genocide in the DRC continues. The streets of the town of Bunia in the DRC are literally flowing with blood, while Uruguayan peacekeepers based in the town have been instructed by the UN to stay in their compound and DO NOTHING ABOUT THE MURDER AND MAYHEM. Wake up!! Every single human being on this planet is affected by this and there is blood on the hands of each and every one of us. We are hurtling headlong into annihilation of ourselves and the planet. You, all 7-billion of you, and I have to do something to change the world and stop the violence and destruction.

The DRC's four-and-a-half-year war, has already claimed an estimated 4,7-MILLION lives. "Does the world care what happens to Congo? No," said Lieutenant Colonel Daniel Vollot, the French commander of UN forces in Ituri.


TODAY'S TRIBUTE (a repeat): Although not an African, Romeo Dallaire a UN peacekeeper from Canada is someone who truly loves the continent. He tried to put a stop to the Rwanda massacres in the 1990s and although he was blocked at every point, he kept trying. Today he lives with the torment. We in Africa salute you comrade Dallaire. Your memory lives on. Aluta Continua

15 May 2003

damn lost my archives ... ugh
Report lifts lid on 'state sponsored homophobia'
Cape Town - 14 May 2003

Many southern African leaders had singled out lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people as scapegoats for their countries' problems, the Human Rights Watch and the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) said in a new report.

The report documents pervasive harassment and violence against sexual minorities in southern Africa. Titled "More Than a Name: State-sponsored Homophobia and its Consequences in Southern Africa", documents verbal attacks, police harassment, official crackdowns, and community violence aimed at lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

It claims victims had been assaulted, imprisoned, expelled from schools, fired from jobs, denied access to medical care, evicted from their homes, and driven into exile or, in some cases, to suicide.

The organisations said that when political leaders such as Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe made speeches that gays and lesbians were "worse than dogs and pigs", it should come as no surprise that violent attacks followed.

The report examined conditions in Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The report said that while South Africa prohibited discrimination based on sexual orientation in its constitution, the equality guaranteed lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people was fragile, and even endangered by the "silence and foot-dragging of political leaders in South Africa".

The two organisations will call on the governments of all five countries to refrain from promoting intolerance and from inciting discrimination and abuse.

It further recommended that:
  • positive protections against discrimination be enacted;
  • awareness of rights protections and how to use them be promoted and publicised, and
  • mechanisms be created to address discrimination and abuse of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

    Deputy-director for the programme at Human Rights Watch Widney Brown said they had worked closely with many non-governmental organisations to identify and interview lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, and transgender people as well as other victims of abuse or discrimination.

    The identities of many people interviewed were protected. Among those interviewed for the report were human rights activists, women's rights activists, lawyers, HIV/Aids peer educators and organisers, academics, journalists and government officials.

    Brown said she was hoping to meet with government officials to discuss the report. + Sapa
  • 09 May 2003

    Hmmmm whose blog's important enough to be "found" by google, ask jeeves, altavista, yahoo etc etc
    do a search for blogs and you come up with zilch
    oh guess what
    they've all been bought up by microsoft, aol time warner, or some other godzilla of the internet
    it's the same as what i learned in journalism school - ie before the web was born
    "freedom of the press is only for those that own one"
    the more things change, the more they stay the same

    Donald Rumsfeld's in the poo ...

    Donald Rumsfeld, the US defence secretary, sat on the board of a company which three years ago sold two light water nuclear reactors to North Korea -- a country he now regards as part of the "axis of evil" and which has been targeted for regime change by Washington because of its efforts to build nuclear weapons. http://www.mg.co.za

    ugh, let me get that horrible taste out of my mouth and focus on today's tribute. it goes to someone who is the epitome of everything that Rumsfeld is not.

    TODAY'S TRIBUTE: Arundhati Roy, the new messiah, who said "People rarely win wars, governments rarely lose them."

    17 April 2003

    My teacher JupiterToday's Tribute: My teacher and friend - Jupiter. When I offer her food (any food), she eats it with relish. When I ask her if she wants to go for a walk, she bounds and screeches around the house like the happiest soul on earth. When I get home late from work and tell her there will be no walk today, she bounds around the house and smiles at me with her eyes saying, "Thank you, thank you for coming home anyway. Let's have some fun around the house instead." My dog Juno is always in a good mood, she is never angry, she never sulks and she knows only how to love (she cannot even spell the word hate)!
    Tupac Amaru. Viva Tupac Amaru. The roots of this organisation go back to when Pizarro crashed through South America wiping out the last of the great Inca people. Depending on your politics, the modern day Tupac Amaru in Peru are seen as either heroes and liberators or as terrorists. Viva MRTA, viva I say! Is this the same group:
  • Tupac Amaru
  • The Fundamentalists
  • Amnesty International
  • 15 April 2003

    Today's Tribute goes to Queen Modjadji V1 and all her predecessors. The Rain Queen was crowned last week and I pay tribute to her and the Rain Queens before her for maintaining their Regency over the centuries. Modjadji is Mara - King and Queen - of the BaLobedu people. Custom dictates that the rain queen never marries. However, she will bare children by her close/royal relatives. After the coronation, the Queen will be attended to by her wives coming from 150 villages in Ga-Modjadji. As a fellow African woman I wish her strengh and wisdom for a long and healthy rain .... oops .... reign. I pray that the Badimo will guide her and preserve her, her people, their wonderful traditions and their beautiful cycad reserve near Modjadji Town.

    11 April 2003

    Today's Tribute goes to South African hero Chris Hani who observed: "Socialism is not about big concepts ... It is about safe drinking water ... health care ... a life of dignity". Hani was assassinated 10 years ago on 10 April 1993 by right wing extremists. Hamba Kahle Chris Hani, may we never forget your legacy.
    Censorship researcher Seth Finkelsetein observed: "Contrary to earlier utopian theories of the Internet, it takes very little effort for governments to cause certain information simply to vanish for a huge number of people."
    Although the invasion of Iraq is being fought under the name "Operation Iraqi Freedom," it has constricted the range of expression sanctioned by media outlets within the U.S. Starting before the war began, several national and local media figures have had their work jeopardized, either explicitly or implicitly because of the critical views they expressed on the war. http://www.fair.org/press-releases/iraq-censorship.html
    Welcome to the second superpower ...


    Check this google criticism by Online Journalism Review:


    Google under fire
    Microsoft as "evil empire"? That's so 1998. Now it's time for the technology press to focus its muckraking eyes on a new supposed monopolist: Google. With its dominance in Net searches, and the rise of Google News, journalists have gone from praising the company to wondering if it's abusing its newfound power. Leading the charge is plucky British site The Register, which has two recent Google bombs -- one fingering the site for changing history ("Googlewashed"), and the other knocking Google News for listing press releases alongside real news

    Read more ....

    blogger.com may be excited about google's purchase of Pyra Labs (see quote below), but I am not. In fact I'm very worried indeed. Blogging is the last outpost for real freedom of speech on the web. And just as we (freedom fighters) reach a critical mass, I see the powers that control the rest of the web come clamping down on us. Well I'm going to push my luck for as long as possible AND BE AS OUTSPOKEN AS POSSIBLE. Watch this space ....


    QUOTE:

    "Big news: Yes folks, it's true. As you may have read, Blogger's parent company, Pyra Labs, was purchased by Google. This should only mean good things for Blogger users. No immediate changes will take place, except we're working furiously to get more servers in place to handle the extra load this news has caused. Stay tuned."