ALEC Meets Today in Dallas to Plan for More Privatization

Diane Ravitch's blog

The Progressive.com managed to get a copy of ALEC’s agenda for its 41st annual meeting in Dallas.

ALEC wants to eviscerate Medicaid, support fracking, and expand charter schools in hopes of destroying America’s great public school system.

All for the corporations and the 1%, nothing for the people.

They are shameless.

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Halifax groups to hold pro-Gaza rally

Global News

HALIFAX – Three Halifax groups are getting ready for their second protest in support of Palestinians living in the Gaza strip.

On Tuesday, Students Against Israeli Apartheid; Canadians, Arabs, and Jews for a Just Peace; and Independent Jewish Voices will lead a rally at the Public Gardens, before marching down to the American Consulate on Upper Water Street.

Violet Rosengarten of the group Canadians, Arabs, and Jews for a Just Peace, says she felt compelled to act because of what she calls the massacre against Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip. “During these attacks I see a massacre happening, of innocent civilians, families, women and children… The Israeli assault on Gaza has become a massacre of innocent people.”

The most recent round of fighting between Israel and Hamas started just over three weeks ago. Since then the death toll in Gaza has risen steadily with officials there saying 1,110 Palestinians have…

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Bardem, Cruz condemn “genocide” in Gaza

Global News

TORONTO — Actor Javier Bardem and his wife Penelope Cruz have rallied Spanish filmmakers and musicians to call on the European Union to condemn the bombing of Palestinian civilians in the Gaza strip.

“Gaza is living through horror these days, besieged and attacked by land, sea and air,” reads an open letter published Tuesday in Spanish newspapers.

“Palestinians’ homes are being destroyed, they are being denied water, electricity [and] free movement to their hospitals, schools and fields while the international community does nothing.”

Among those who put their names on the letter are director Pedro Almodovar.

In an opinion piece published last week in El Diario, Bardem said he is “outraged, ashamed and hurt” by what he called “genocide.”

Bardem, whose son Leo was born in a Jewish hospital, said he understands the threat Israel faces and he supports the Jewish people.

But, he added, “being Jewish does not…

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P.E.I. beaver blamed for felling tree that damaged couple’s car

Instead of blaming the beaver for doing what comes naturally, why not take a look at the driver, who saw it falling, but apparently was driving so fast he couldn’t stop? Nah, it’s much easier to blame the animals…
…and I hate to think of what they are going to do to the beavers if they caught them…

Global News

SOURIS, P.E.I. – Police say a beaver is to blame for felling a tree that collapsed onto a car driven by Quebec tourists in Prince Edward Island on Saturday.

The Mounties say the rodent had been gnawing at the large tree next to Highway 16 at Priest’s Point, near Souris, before it fell at about 2 p.m.

The driver told investigators he saw the tree falling onto the roadway but he was unable to avoid it as it crashed down onto his vehicle.

The couple and their two infant children weren’t injured but the Toyota they were in sustained significant damage to the roof, windshield, and to a cargo box.

Police say when they examined the tree they found it and several other nearby trees had been chewed by the beaver, and arrangements were made to have the damaged trees taken down.

The vehicle has been taken to a body…

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More on Gaza and what it’s like to be Palestinian

DN! has another good piece on life in Gaza….if you can call it that. Existence is more apt a word…

Israel targeted yet another hospital…and yet another playground with children.

I just can’t wrap my brain around anyone justifying this–only a mentally ill person would rationalize killing children and innocent people whom have nothing to do with Hamas.

And the cruel mind games Israel is playing—calling people and telling them to leave because they are about to be bombed…when there is clearly nowhere else to go.  As the piece illustrates–a man who left to go to “safety” was bombed there, too.  Where are they to go?

Another segment the other day said that Israel is also playing mind games by calling people up and telling them they are in their crosshairs.  And there are drones overhead all the time….even when there was supposedly a cease-fire that Israel claimed to uphold.  Who would trust someone like that?

DN also had this up yesterday of a Palestinian’s account of his own personal tragedy.  It’s hard to watch–he clearly is heartbroken over losing so many members of his family.

Again, Israel has a lot of fire power because of the United States giving them billions every single year.  I do not support my tax dollars going towards killing innocent people…innocent children playing on a playground…people in hospitals that have already been greatly harmed…

~~~More of this segment also explores the overreach of the NSA, CIA, et al, and how the Fourth Amendment is ignored.  Brian Ross has stated that he now begins telephone conversations with “I’m an American citizen, are you?”  because he says they are not supposed to be listening in on American citizens’ conversations.  This is a protective measure.  It is incredible how paranoia has become so extreme that journalists now feel like criminals and have to act like they’re mafia or something in order to develop contacts and be able to investigate the very people who are trying to usurp the press’ ability to investigate them.

Meanwhile, the petition for Freedom of the Press and Whistleblowers has now reached over 100,000 like-minded folks who believe in the First Amendment and Fourth Amendment which a healthy democracy needs to survive.

First Amendment:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. – See more at: http://constitution.findlaw.com/amendment1/amendment.html#sthash.8k4V7g5s.dpuf
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Fourth Amendment:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. – See more at: http://constitution.findlaw.com/amendment4/amendment.html#sthash.Ihw0OGGC.dpuf
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Spirituality and Rationality

(This blog is on spirituality, so if it’s not your thing…)

Dr. Carol Hand has one of the most stirring blogs on spirituality I’ve ever read.

I love, love, love, the Native American approach to spirituality–they don’t dictate to each other or complete strangers what they should believe or how they should worship. They worry more about their own spiritual path than others’.

When I was growing up, my belief was that the world could only know Peace if we were all Christians–hence the reason for missionaries and witnessing to others our beliefs.

It took my taking a class on religion in college to realize that despite what you might hear in the press or religious leaders, we aren’t that far apart in our beliefs.  As I’ve written about before, all religions have the eerily similar belief in treating others as you wish to be treated.  This was such a powerful discovery for me–as at this time, after my divorce and the turmoil that followed, I was questioning God’s existence.

Two things happened that brought me “back”–one is a dream I’ll keep private, and the other is my daughter going through a terrible time.  She made it through, although she still has “days” that I think are more related to the poison in her mouth (amalgams) than to anything else.

Anyway, Carol’s post highlights the Native American tradition of seeing women as connected directly to God by our ability to give life.  I love this.  The European tradition as seeing menstruation as “dirty” –something to be ashamed of, others see it as the blood that gives life to the growing baby.  As I wrote that, The Red Tent popped into my head.  Even though women were banished to the tent for menstruating, they had a wonderful camaraderie that is absent in our society today.    (Not only that, Big Pharma has developed a Pill to stop women from menstruating for three months (or more)…someone I knew was getting married and didn’t want to have her period on her wedding day….unbelievable.  God, how Big Pharma must hate women and their icky periods….)

Back on subject—

It does make sense to keep one’s visions to oneself–lest it create jealousy or judgment.  Wise.

This passage was powerful and reflected my own conclusions:

When I realize that the temptation to judge and compete with others is becoming too strong to resist, I look at the context and forces around me. Often I find that it’s time for me to change course, to be honest about what is my responsibility to do, and to simplify and refocus my life on what really matters on my path. I have a responsibility to do what I can in my thoughts and actions to end and prevent harm.  I have a responsibility to judge actions and their consequences, but I cannot judge or demonize others whose paths I can never know.

~~~~~~~~~

It is hard to resist those powerful urge to judge and compete with others…but if one truly follows the “do unto others..” it helps keep one on the right path.  After all, we can only control our own actions and reactions, not those of others.

Peace to you all.