In war we often see only the frontline stories of soldiers and combat. AT TED 2010, Zainab Salbi tells powerful "backline" stories of women who keep everyday life going during conflicts, and calls for women to have a place at the negotiating table once fighting is over.Iraqi-born Zainab Salbi founded and runs Women for Women International, and has dedicated her life to helping women in war-torn regions rebuild their lives and communities.In her memoir Hidden in Plain Sight: Growing Up in the Shadow of Saddam, Zainab Salbi writes of being raised in Saddam Hussein's inner circle -- her father was Saddam's personal pilot. She left Iraq for an arranged marriage in the US, which quickly became another form of tyranny. But in 1993, when she heard of the rape and concentration camps in Bosnia, she realized she could no longer remain passive. Salbi founded Women for Women International to help women who are victims of war in every way -- from those who've been physically harmed to those who suffer from the poverty that war and strife inevitably bring. WFWI provides economic and emotional aid, job-skills training, and rights education, empowering women to stop the cycle of violence and create social change.In her latest book, The Other Side of War: Women's Stories of Survival & Hope, she shares personal stories of women's experience in conflict. As she writes: "War is not a computer-generated missile striking a digital map. War is the color of earth as it explodes in our faces, the sound of child pleading, the smell of smoke and fear. Women survivors of war are not the single image portrayed on the television screen, but the glue that holds families and countries together. Perhaps by understanding women, and the other side of war ... we will have more humility in our discussions of wars... perhaps it is time to listen to women's side of history."
(Download WMA audio file) - 18:06 Dan Savage reads his humorous, touching, and thoughtful essay on losing his mother and the Catholic Church, from This American Life #379 - "Return to the scene of the Crime"
Saw Stuart Townsend's new controversial docu-drama this weekend depicting the Seattle 1999 WTO protests.
“What we hadn’t reckoned with was the Seattle Police Department, who single-handedly managed to turn a peaceful protest into a riot.” - Britain’s Environment Minister, Michael Meacher
A recently completed youtube series on Science and the history of the Universe.Check out the whole 11 part series.( Click for seriesCollapse )
Naomi Klein has received some well deserved exposure via Harpers, Jennifer Stone, and DemocracyNow!:
"Pinochet's coup in Chile. The massacre in Tiananmen Square. The collapse of the Soviet Union. September 11th, 2001. The war on Iraq. The Asian tsunami and Hurricane Katrina. Award-winning investigative journalist Naomi Klein brings together all of these world-changing events in her new book, "The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism." In her first national broadcast interview since the publication of "The Shock Doctrine," Klein joins us in our fire house studio for the hour. Klein writes, "The history of the contemporary free market was written in shocks." She argues that "Some of the most infamous human rights violations of the past thirty-five years, which have tended to be viewed as sadistic acts carried out by anti-democratic regimes, were in fact either committed with the deliberate intent of terrorizing the public or actively harnessed to prepare the ground for the introduction of radical free-market reforms.""( Listen to Segment || Download Show mp3 || Watch 128k stream || Watch 256k stream || Read Transcript )
So this is what I've been fantasizing: a group of friends get together once a month to view a film or two, have a discussion on the film(s) -- maybe a potluck dinner or a Sunday brunch. The films would be thought provoking and the discussions would revolve around the problems, the solutions and making the world a better place . . .The above scenario is easily do-able with the Ironweed, a subscription film club. I was asked if I wanted to preview some of Ironweed's environmental films in honor of earth day. The April 07 disc included "Blue Vinyl" and two shorts, "Crude Impact" and "The Man Who Planted Trees". I finally had a chance to sit down and watch the films this past weekend. The films were great, but I lamented my solitary viewing and kept wishing that I'd some friends over to watch with me discuss the films.Ironweed isn't just about environmental films -- the films cover a wide range of progressive and political topics. Some of the past films have included: This Film is Not Yet Rated, Black Gold, The Boys of Baraka, Genesis, Sir! No Sir!, American Blackout and several titles that I recognized from past Sundance festivals. At $14.95 per month, the cost could easily be split amongst a group of film club friends for a lot less than a movie ticket.
I've really been enjoying a new web service called Common Circle. It's similar to MySpace without the ethical issues. For one thing, it's not owned by wacky-righty Rupert Murdoch. But there are several other differences as well:
CommonCircle is a place for people from all walks of life, but the common goal we all share is a desire for positive social change and a strong belief in the 10 key values of the Green Movement; being:
1. Grassroots democracy2. Social justice and equal opportunity3. Ecological wisdom4. Non-violence5. Decentralization6. Community-based economics and economic justice7. Feminism and gender equity8. Respect for diversity9. Personal and global responsibility10. Future focus and sustainability
We're a little different to most social networking services that have sprung up in recent times. For starters, the server the site is hosted on and our offices are all powered by 100% renewable energy - a wind and sun mix.
There are no external investors in CommonCircle - we're a true grass roots community steered by our members. We want and crave your input to help make CommonCircle a useful tool for you in your social activities and activist campaigns. Aside from your own profile page, we offer many features:
-Have an opinion or news? Post items on your very own blog-Organizing an event? Publicize it using the events feature-Forming or have a group? Our groups feature is just for you.-Stuff/services for sale or trade? Try our free classifieds-Looking for conversation? Post to our forums, or use chat-Pictures to share? The gallery feature is awaiting you-Wanting opinions? Try the CommonCircle polls-We also provide guides for using each of the above features.
..and this is only the beginning! Tell us what you want from CommonCircle and we'll try to make it happen!
Whether you're an activist, community group, green business, or just want to connect with people who, like you, share an increased awareness of the state of our world and want to see things change - to make things change; we look forward to providing you with the tools to enhance your experience! Let's redefine the world together; one action at a time!
My Country My Country will appear tonight on PBS on October 25th, 9pm."My Country My Country" opened in theaters last August 4th.Filmmaker/Director Laura Poitras documents eight months in the life of a sunni Iraqi doctor and his family. Dr. Riyadh, a father of six, is trapped under the chaos and mayhem of the Bush/Blair occupation and attempting to deal with the cynicism and danger of the impending Iraqi elections. Very eye opening. Very humorous, scary, poignant, and very human. Definitely a film worthy of seeing. ( photos behind cutCollapse )