Thursday, January 13, 2005

Cuaderno Latinoamericano: "Cuaderno Latinoamericano" - Hi, folks. As a professor of Latin American Studies (and as an erratic blogger who recognizes the importance of the new medium) I am trying a pedagogical experiment in my Latin American content courses at Tulane University by requiring my students to participate in a Latin America-themed blog. So, what was once (and still is) a category of this blog site -- "Cuaderno Latinoamericano" -- is now its own blog, though with many new contributors. If you are interested in Latin America, or just want to see how university students are at blogging, I encourage you to visit the Cuaderno Latinoamericano blog. Help my students see the power of the blogosphere. Visit the Cuaderno Latinoamericano often and leave your comments.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Lagniappe: A Call to Inaction - "Not One Damn Dime Day - January 20, 2005"

Since our religious leaders will not speak out against the war in Iraq, since our political leaders don't have the moral courage to oppose it, since Bush is wasting 40 MILLION dollars on his inauguration party...while the soldiers have inadequate armor and too few of them to create or maintain peace in Iraq... Inauguration Day, Thursday, January 20th, 2005 is "Not One Damn Dime Day" in America.

On "Not One Damn Dime Day " those who oppose what is happening in our name in Iraq can speak up with a 24-hour national boycott of all forms of consumer spending. During "Not One Damn Dime Day" please don't spend money. Not one damn dime for gasoline. Not one damn dime for necessities or for impulse purchases. Not one damn dime for nothing for 24 hours. On "Not One Damn Dime Day" please boycott Wal-Mart, Kmart, Target...Please don't go to the mall or the local convenience store. Please don't buy any fast food (or any groceries at all for that matter). For 24 hours, please do what you can to shut the retail economy down.

The object is simple. Remind the people in power that the war in Iraq is immoral and illegal; that they are responsible for starting it and that it is their responsibility to stop it. "Not One Damn Dime Day" is to remind them, too, that they work for the people of the United States of America, not for the International corporations and K Street lobbyists who represent the corporations and funnel cash into American politics. "Not One Damn Dime Day" is about supporting the troops. The politicians put the troops in harm's way. Now 1,300 brave young Americans and (some estimate) 100,000 Iraqis have died. The politicians owe our troops a plan - a way to come home.

There's no rally to attend. No marching to do. No left or right wing agenda to rant about. On "Not One Damn Dime Day" you take action by doing nothing. You open your mouth by keeping your wallet closed. For 24 hours, nothing gets spent, not one damn dime, to remind our religious leaders and our politicians of their moral responsibility to end the war in Iraq and give America back to the people.

Please share this call to action with all your friends and colleagues.

(Thanks to Semillas member Dan DeMers for circulating this message.)

Monday, January 10, 2005

Lagniappe: The "Salvador Option" in Iraq - Newsweek reports that the U.S. Government (and particularly the Department of Defense) is pondering the creation and support of Iraqi "Death Squads" much like the Reagan Administration did in El Salvador in the 1980s. These paramilitary units would be used to "crush" the Rebels. We know what happened in El Salvador ... a protracted, violent, and bloody civil war in which the U.S. paid mere lip service to democracy while the forces of repression went to work with impunity. This is a frightening story, and if it is true, the sham of Bush's Iraq policy is exposed. Thanks to a friend of mine for bringing this disturbing story to my attention.