January 26, 2004
World Social Forum Causes Progressive Indian-Americans to Surface
Since I'll be leaving for India in just a couple of days, I thought I'd hunt around for some relatively recent news regarding the sub-continent. Apparently the World Social Forum is/was meeting in Mumbai (my 3rd layover locale) and this article kind of serves as a small introduction to social justice issues in India, if you choose to follow the links. And I encourage you to do so.
Although I will be busy posted updates to the group's Web site, I will try and keep a daily journal here as well while I'm "in-country." So stay tuned!
January 14, 2004
Reconstruction: The Second Civil War
I caught most of this documentary on PBS after I got home last night. I guess there's an "American Experience" series that PBS hosts and this was a special on the Reconstruction period, the 14 years or so following the civil war, 1863-1877. It was a very interesting look at the Reconstruction.
I was left with a distinctly different impression of that time period than I remember having when I learned about it in history classes in school. And the funny thing about that old impression I had, was that it was not an uncommon impression at all. In fact, the widespread notion that Reconstruction was a big mistake, that African-Americans weren't ready for their newfound freedom was a feeling that was generated deliberately by the politics of the day and even decades later as people sought to even reconstruct the actual history of the Reconstruction. As pointed out in this documentary, the Reconstruction was a relatively short period of time which birthed the first civil rights legislation that America had known. This first civil rights legislative movement was confronted by domestic terrorism, vigilante violence, public calls for assassinations, and the repeal of any civil rights legislation that had been entered into law in that decade following the Civil War. It would be another 100 years in what was actually the second Civil Rights movement for any civil rights legislation to stick in the law books and actually see enforcement in all the States.
It looks like it was only showing for 2 days but they (of course) have a companion Web site set up for the special and I encourage you to take a look.
January 13, 2004
Fuzzy logic and the war on terror
It's been a couple weeks since my last post, so though things are busy with preparations for my trip to India at the end of the month, I wanted to take some time to find a "blogworthy" piece for this week. I found a couple things. First, this article from The Guardian reporting on a academic publication presented to the White House yesterday which characterizes the parameters of the war on terror as "frustratingly unclear."
Here is the Guardian article:
Bush besieged by war college
...and I also located the actual report by Jeffery Record, posted on the Strategic Studies Institute Web site. (Also, here is the report in PDF format.)
I came across a couple pieces relating to illegal migrants and illegal immigrants. One is a commentary from Sojourners Magazine, the other a news piece from the BBC.
These articles remind me of the National Geographic piece a few months ago on present-day slavery and human trafficking around the world (which often directly targets migrant and immigrant individuals who are "in-transit.")
Let me see if I can find it...ah yes, here it is: 21st-Century Slaves, by Andrew Cockburn. Photographs by Jodi Cobb. I highly recommend this article. I recommend finding a hard copy of the September 2003 National Geographic (the one with Zebras! on the cover...it's in that issue). I'm sure someone you know has it lying around.