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I always say "The Personal is Political" and well, this is about as personal as it gets..

In just a few minutes, I am headed out the door to deliver the tribute to my Mom that you will find below the fold.

Nearly everyone claims to have the Best Mom Ever, but I truly won that lottery.. Lots of eternal gratitude here for the love and the latitude that were always shown me.

This level of disclosure is rare for me -- I lead a pretty public life and usually am highly protective of my personal stories. But here it is -- a big glimpse into Who I Am and How I Came to Be.

But this is political too, in ways both direct and more subtle.

The values that my Mom lived by are values of care and equality. As my friend and fellow Minnesotan joedemocrat would say -- "That's why we are Democrats  -- We care about people."

And Yes Mom -- both my parents, like their parents before them -- was a fiercely partisan life-long die-hard member of the Minnesota Democratic Farmer Labor Party. They love their Minnesota down-to-earth Democrats -- Hubert Humphrey, Walter Mondale, Eugene McCarthy, that old Iron Ranger Rudy Perpich, Al Franken, Mark Dayton, and most of all, Paul Wellstone. My parents raised $$ for him, met Paul and Sheila on many Green Bus Tour occasions and finally, inconsolable, drove 200 miles to attend his Memorial.

“Never separate the life you live from the words you speak," said Paul, and that was Mom, start to finish.

My parents also helped deliver their local rural white caucus for Barack Obama  -- the man who shared my Mom's Audacity of Hope. My parents came to the Twin Cities to watch returns and celebrate Election 2008 with us -- it was such a joyous day. So unsurprisingly, among the many many laments of my brother was this -- "There is one less vote for Obama."

I told him not to worry -- I will bring 100 more...

For Mom.

But I think there is a larger political message here too  -- one so much bigger than party politics and artificial boundaries. The message of Mom is one of generosity and fairness, of possibility and justice, of openness and faith in the ultimate goodness of people. Although Mom was a Lutheran and the tribute below is influenced by the New Testament, please take these words as she did -- not as One Way absolutes, but as ethical guideposts that transcend the tight boxes so many try to construct. That will be the spirit in which the many will come, from all over everywhere, from all races, ethnicities, classes, sexual orientations, religions, from all walks of life -- Small White Lutheran Town Minnesota will be a sea of diversity today.

If that isn't political, then nothing is.

Wellstone was right  --"In the last analysis, politics is not predictions and politics is not observations. Politics is what we do. Politics is what we do, politics is what we create, by what we work for, by what we hope for and what we dare to imagine."

And Mom was right too.

So I am off now - to honor and celebrate my Mom - off to politic today, in my own way.

Off to politic in Mom's way.

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"A global shift towards a vegan diet is vital to save the world from hunger, fuel poverty and the worst impacts of climate change."

Yeah, I know - I am not beach babe in florida...

Today, you are stuck with soothsayer99 in Icepick, Minnesota.

But is still Monday.....And we are still going Meatless.

And if beach babe were here - as I hope she is next week -- she'd say this :

I was inspired to create this series by former Beatle and vegetarian advocate Paul McCartney(Macca) who partnered with the Meatless Monday campaign to promote less consumption of meat.  We not only discuss the advantages of a less meat diet we also do some cooking, share recipes and listen to great Beatle/McCartney music!

In this weekly series we have been discussing the benefits of a vegetarian diet including: better health, animal rights, food safety, public health, frugal living, global food crisis and the immense contribution of meat/livestock production to climate change/resource depletion.

Macca's Meatless Monday/Meatless Advocates is a solution oriented activist group, with solutions for some of the most pressing issues of our time including: climate change, global food/water insecurity and public health.  Here we don't just talk about the severity of the crisis.  Armed with knowledge about how our actions can contribute we become part of the solution.

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’In Memory of the Brown Terrier Dog done to Death in the Laboratories of University College in February 1903, after having endured Vivisection extending over more than two months and having been handed from one Vivisector to another till Death came to his Release.

Also in Memory of the 232 dogs vivisected at the same place during the year 1902.

Men and Women of England, how long shall these things be?’

National Anti-Vivisectionist Society

London 1902. What is now known as "The Brown Dog Affair" is the the first undercover investigation of animal experiments by anti-vivisectionists. The case began in  December 1902, when Professor Starling at University College London performed his first operation on the terrier dog, removing its pancreas. During the following two months the dog lived in a cage, ceaselessly shattering any silence with its howls and whines.

In February 1903, Professor Starling opened up the dog’s abdomen to inspect the result of the first operation. He then clamped the wound with forceps and handed the animal over to Dr. Bayliss, who made a completely new wound in the neck for the purpose of a lecture demonstration to students. After another half hour, the animal apparently suffering greatly, was given to Mr. Dale, an unlicensed research student who killed it either by chloroform or by surgical means.

In attendance that day were two Swedish anti-vivisectionists, Leisa Schartau and Louise Lind-af-Hageby. They had enrolled as students at the London School of Medicine for Women so that they could learn first-hand about the work in such laboratories, and they attended that lecture demonstration. They carefully noted the facts of this case in their diary, in which they were recording the details of the experiments they had witnessed during their studies at UCL. Schartau and Hageby soon after gave up there studies and  decided to show their diary, which was now a substantial manuscript, to the Honorary Secretary of the National Anti-Vivisection Society, the Hon. Stephen Coleridge.The information which they recorded was published as a book entitled ‘The Shambles of Science’, which documented both the cruelty and the levity that surrounded the live dissection of animals in medical lectures.

A decades long public and legal battle ensued with accusations of legal violations, a much publicized libel suit brought against Coleridge, public protests, a statue erected in honor of the Brown Dog, and its' eventual removal due to a series of "Brown Dog Riots" -- on-going clashes between medical students bent on destroying the statue and anti-vivisectionists known now as "brown-doggers".

But The Brown Dog, of course, remained dead. And vivisection continued apace, albeit now shrouded in ever more secrecy.

Because these dogs were deemed less than human.  

They were only animals, and above all, they were property.

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The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.

Freeman and slave, patrician and plebeian, lord and serf, guild-master and journeyman, in a word, oppressor and oppressed, stood in constant opposition to one another, carried on an uninterrupted, now hidden, now open fight, a fight that each time ended, either in a revolutionary reconstitution of society at large, or in the common ruin of the contending classes.

Manifesto of the Communist Party, Marx & Engels (1848)
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This was the billboard you didn't see in Louisville during Derby week last year..

And this is the video horseracing power brokers didn't want you to see this week...

Coming Home is the granddaughter of 1990 Kentucky Derby winner Unbridled and the cousin of Eight Belles, who suffered a catastrophic breakdown in the 2008 Kentucky Derby. Coming Home raced 16 times without winning a race and was then purchased by a "killer" for meat for $200. Peta rescued her just hours before being shipped to slaughter.
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Last August,  this diary -- Daily Kos Demographics: White. Over 50. Well Off. Male. -- was intended as both a reality check and a challenge to this site to better represent the reality of both US population demographics and the base of the Democratic Party.

At that time, according to data collected by Quantcast, the Daily Kos audience was overwhemlingly white (93%), well-educated (80% college grads and more) and affluent (37% make >$100k) and disproportionately older (53% >50) and male (64%) when compared the demographics of Internet Users.

So what has changed in terms of race class gender and representation at the new "improved" DK4??

Well, Nothing.

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Tue Feb 22, 2011 at 06:02 PM PST

The Oil We Eat Redux

by soothsayer99

"A global shift towards a vegan diet is vital to save the world from hunger, fuel poverty and the worst impacts of climate change."

In conjunction with World Environment Day, The United Nations Environment Programme released  a new report. It reiterates what scientists, environmentalists and animal rights activists have been urging for eons - a world-wide reduction in meat consumption and a move towards vegetarianism and veganism.

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Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 07:01 PM PST

EcoJustice: Green and White ???

by soothsayer99

Over the last three decades, the environmental justice movement has made significant strides in documenting the deep connections between race and environmental harm.

Environmental racism refers to any policy, practice, or directive that differentially...disadvantages (whether intended or unintended) individuals, groups, or communities based on race or color.

The systematic destruction of indigenous peoples' land and sacred sites, the poisoning of Native Americans on reservations, Africans in the Niger Delta, African-Americans in Louisiana's "Cancer Alley," and Mexicans in the border town and colonias all have their roots in economic exploitation, racial oppression, devaluation of human life and the natural environment, and corporate” ( Bullard 2001 )

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"The life is mightier than the book that reports it.  The most important thing in the world is that our faith becomes living experience and deed of life."

Norman Morrison, 1965

(notes from a lesson for an adult class at Stony Run Meeting)

Forty five years ago. At dusk. The Pentagon. In front of McNamara's window. Norman R. Morrison handed his off his infant daughter Emily and set himself a blaze.
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The environmental justice movement has set out clear goals of eliminating unequal enforcement of environmental, civil rights, and public health laws. Environmental justice leaders...have assisted public decision makers in identifying "at risk" populations, toxic "hot spots," research gaps, and action models to correct existing imbalances and prevent future threats... Grassroots groups have taken the offensive to ensure that government and industry do the right thing.

Environmental justice..means sharing in the benefits. Governments must live up to their mandate of protecting all people and the environment. Anything less is unacceptable. The solution to environmental injustice lies in the realm of equal protection of all individuals, groups, and communities. No community, rich or poor, urban or suburban, black or white, should be allowed to become a "sacrifice zone" or the dumping ground... The environmental justice movement challenges toxic colonialism, environmental racism, and the international toxics trade at home and abroad.

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I sit in the day room/lobby waiting to be released for lunch. I read a novel in which one character, a Pole, comments to another that the Germans consider Poles to be untermenschen, subhuman... Instead of storm trooper boots and brown shirts, those who command wear Tony Lamas cowboy boots, expensive suits, and ties—men who see in the U.S. prison establishment ways to both intensify control of the population and squeeze more profits out of late-stage capitalism....

Prison has always been the final gate in the repressive apparatus of a state...The United States is the world’s primary example of a country that deals with its social, economic, and cultural problems by incarceration. But this is its history. Prisons are the logical outcome of the country’s foundation on the genocide of Native Americans, the enslavement of Africans, and the "manifest destiny" of imperial settlerism—from sea to shining sea.. Marilyn Buck 1947 - 2010

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Grand Junction Colorado Billboard Combines Racism, Homophobia and Xenophobia

This brutal billboard sums up the rock bottom reasons for Democratic losses -- the white supremacist heterosexist capitalist patriarchy does not go down easy.

As always, fear is the twin to anger, those ever reliable tools for divide and conquer.

Fear and anger won on Tuesday..

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