working together for social inclusion in America

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Against Their Will

Prostitution is a much misunderstood topic, and as such, attitudes about the proper social response to it vary greatly. Unfortunately, the happy Hollywood hooker fantasy is not the reality of an industry where 85% of prostitutes are violently coerced into selling their bodies, and 100,000 underage girls held in bondage are pimped online in the Adult Services section of Craigslist.

Ideologies and fantasies aside, if we are going to walk the talk of freedom, we cannot allow women and children to be trafficked for sex and held in slave conditions against their will.

While it is wrong to blame the victims of this modern slavery, it is equally wrong to perpetuate this crime against humanity with our silence. We can start by taking the time to become informed; after all, it's possible our perceptions are skewed.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A Dissonant Experience

Overcoming indoctrination from school and TV requires an inquisitive mind. Sometimes that happens as a result of a dissonant experience, sometimes by hearing someone else relate theirs. Showing others by example is best.

Before the Internet, I occasionally walked down to city hall and the county courthouse to gather evidence from public records, which my friends and I would then use to make flyers, ads, and articles to influence elections and public policy. People were astounded by how effective this was.

Decades later, we put the lessons we learned online.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Bypassing the Gatekeepers

Over the last decade, millions of Americans have found ways to inform themselves unmediated by institutions or markets. Indeed, online communication through ad hoc networks has led to the formation of such things as media co-ops, indigenous news digests, and weblogs offering independent analysis and expose.

As hundreds of millions worldwide are now able to share information, despite institutional censorship and market retaliation, controlling what we know and think has become an impossible task for bureaucracies and enterprises designed for that purpose.

As more and more wean themselves from the soothing bromides of broadcast TV, and seek to learn what is really going on, society, politics, and global consciousness are bound to evolve in ways the previous gatekeepers of information cannot imagine. But then, imagination is not something usually found within the confines of market madness and military intelligence milieus.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Rapacious Revival Roadshow

As Shamus Cooke observes, the bipartisan fiscal future fanfare is nothing less than a rapacious revival. Sponsored by the inheritors of unearned wealth, this latest roadshow is not surprisingly designed to rip off those of us who will depend on Medicare and Social Security in our senior years. For the privileged elites who hollowed out our economy and public treasury through private equity manipulations, Social Security is their final foray in re-establishing a feudal society.

As Mr. Cooke notes, the foregone conclusions of stacked studies, crony commissions and phony philanthropy are that the rich are endlessly worthy, while the rest of us are undeserving.