Sunday, June 25, 2006

Tell the Alberta government to FUND SCHOOLS PROPERLY!

CEP Local 777 and CUPE Local 474 Invites
Union members, the public, teachers,parents and students

To Rally For Increased
School Board Funding

Where: Constituency Office of Gene Zwozdesky
8207- Argyll Road
When: WED. JUNE 28, 2006
Time: 4:00 PM

We will be joining with our brothers and sisters from other unions representing school board custodial, maintenance and support staff.

Please come and support you brothers and sisters from Edmonton Public and Edmonton Catholic School Districts as they try and raise awareness about the serious under funding of our school boards.

In a province as wealthy as ours we should not having to lay off workers who play such an important role in our children's education.

Over the past 10 years, as education funding has been eroding, many schools have been left with few alternatives to decrease the hours and / or lay off of non-teaching staff.

This has to stop.


Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Tonight on The Terrordome: Chris Rock on Wealth vs. Democracy

According to a 2001 study published by United for a Fair Economy, the wealthiest 1% of Americans own one-third of all wealth in the United States. To put it in dollar terms, in 2001 the richest hundredth of Americans possessed, by themselves, more than fourteen trillion dollars worth of cash and assets.

On the other hand, half of US society--around 130 million people--owned less than 3% of the country’s total wealth.

How does that look from a global perspective? According to Project Censored, “As always, America’s economic trends have a global footprint—and this time, it is a crater. Today the top 400 income earners in the U.S. make as much in a year as the entire population of the 20 poorest countries in Africa (over 300 million people).”

The Guardian newspaper of the UK said in a 2003 article, “One in every three people in the world will live in slums within 30 years unless governments control unprecedented urban growth, according to a UN report.

"The largest study ever made of global urban conditions has found that 940 million people - almost one-sixth of the world's population - already live in squalid, unhealthy areas, mostly without water, sanitation, public services or legal security.”

The Guardian article continued, “The report... found that urban slums were growing faster than expected, and that the balance of global poverty was shifting rapidly from the countryside to cities. Africa now has 20% of the world's slum dwellers and Latin America 14%, but the worst urban conditions are in Asia, where more than 550 million people live in what the UN calls unacceptable conditions.”

At the beginning of tonight’s The Terrordome, you'll hear one argument, contained in the lyrics of the BDP song, about how some of those who are already wealthy created their wealth in the first place--by being drug lords. As KRS-One points out, many of the wealthiest and most respected families in the United States were drug lords, including the Kennedys, who sold alcohol when it was illegal.

A 2004 Guardian story entitled “How Bush's grandfather helped Hitler's rise to power” explains how patriarch Prescott Bush traded with the Nazis before and during World War II.

Currently, the wealthy deform our society with other legal but grossly anti-democratic or destructive actions, from the formation of massive media monopolies to firing thousands of workers during record profits to pollution to filling grocery stores with carcinogen foods and household cleansers.

Tonight on The Terrordome, we’re going to take a slightly more relaxed look than we usually would at such serious issues. Instead of dealing with legalities, we’ll deal in laughter, in turns both hilarious and harrowing.

Chris Rock has been hailed for his insightful and angry politically-inspired comedy.

He’s starred in movies such as New Jack City, CB4, Dogma and Head of State. He once was a Saturday Night Live regular; his talk show was one of HBO’s highest-rated programmes, and his sit-com Everybody Hates Chris, loosely based on his childhood, is a critical hit. His 1997 book Rock This was on the bestseller lists of both the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. He’s won a Cable ACE Award, a Grammy, and two Emmys, including for Best Writing.

At a time when superstar comedians such as Dave Chappelle have been criticised for reinforcing some of the most offensive and damaging stereotypes of Afrikans in the US, Chris Rock continues to point out where Black folks are doing wrong, and to point the way on how to do right.

Listen to tonight's The Terrordome to hear Chris Rock on Wealth vs. Democracy.

Time: 6 PM Mountain Time
Where: CJSR FM-88.5 in Edmonton
Web: CJSR (link on the upper left - AUDIO)

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Who controls Martin Luther King?

Who controls Martin Luther King?

That's a question worth asking in the decades since King's revolutionary struggle. When King was alive, he was denounced by Time Magazine as a demagogue whose words might have been written for Radio Hanoi. He was the target of US government surveillance and counter-intelligence under the Kennedys and Lyndon Johnson, with at least one documented attempt to extort him into suicide.

And as we have heard over the last four episodes of The Terrordome, as described in attorney William Pepper's book An Act of State: The Execution of Martin Luther King and as was decided by a 1999 civil trial whose results are known to almost no one, on April4, 1967, the United States government assassinated Dr. King.

The public perception of Martin Luther King has been brain-rinsed.

Gone is the radical democratic revolutionary, the anti-imperialist who was the most prominent opponent of the US war against the Vietnamese people; gone is the advocate of economic justice; gone is the leader of the 1968 Poor People's March on Washington, which according to William Pepper's insider witnesses, US intelligence feared could have led to a revolution, had he lived. Replacing all these is King frozen in 1963 with "I Have a Dream," and the public perception that the anti-war movement was populated and led exclusively by White, middle-class, drug-abusing hippies. Replacing these are Hallmark cards and department store sales for Martin Luther King Day.

Nowadays, believe it or not, some on the far right in North America are attempting to reinvent Dr. King as a conservative--which would make King a highly unusual conservative: opposing US imperialism, denouncing capitalism, opposing corporate and government White Supremacy.

But even in Canada, some people are eager to rewrite the story of King.

In 2003, CBC's The Current, guest-hosted by Eric Sorenson, did a story on the 40th anniversary of King's "I Have a Dream" speech. Sorenson didn't invite any of the leading experts on King, not even famed intellectual Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, author of eight books, who'd just written I May Not Get There With You: The True Martin Luther King, Jr.

Instead Sorenson invited Shelby Steele, author of only two books (neither one on King) and a black conservative with the ultra-right wing Hoover Institute, who explained that racial discrimination no longer exists, and that Black misery in the US was exclusively the fault of African-Americans. Neither Steele nor Sorenson made any mention of racial disparities in the American medical system, its justice system, housing, employment, life expectancy, environmental disparity or infant mortality, which are addressed in detail on The Bro-Log--check the links under the heading "Countering Racial Supremacy."

Those who would distort King for their own right wing purposes are legion, and they are powerful.

Who controls the legacy and the meaning of Dr. King? Especially when whoever controls the present, controls our understanding of the past, and thereby controls the living future?

Listen to tonight's The Terrordome to hear Dr. Clayborne Carson on the contested legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King.

Time: 6 PM Mountain Time on CJSR FM-88.5 in Edmonton