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Everything posted by Daniel

  1. Cool! I should try living it up and have burritos morning, noon and night.
  2. Another great post, Liz -- especially that last part.
  3. By the title, I thought this thread was going to be about Morrissey consuming meat. Like, "Hey, did you hear? Morrissey is on meat now."
  4. I think gymnastics would be an awesome sport. I would totally get into gymnastics.
  5. Is this thread strictly for proper burritos, or can variations like taquitos and chimichanga be discussed here as well?
  6. Wow! I'm like a major dork for knowing that line.
  7. If you haven't got a bike yet, you might want to look in to a hybrid. These are a cross between a road bike and a mountain bike and are mostly marketed for transportation and commuting.
  8. Daniel


    offense74, sure, "U.S.A. is number one!" Like I don't hear this myth of "American exceptionalism" repeated a more than hundred times a day. It's part of that great ideology behind the United States hegemony. I personally think this sort of nationalistic pride and cultural chauvinism is a large part of the problem. BTW, I don't recall anyone talking about censorship. The film 300 is a consumer product that one purchases by buying a ticket for admission. In this way, not supporting the film is like pharmakon's analogy to veganism. loveliberate, would you pay admission to a neo-Nazi rally or a Focus on the Family conference for the same reason you're willing to attend 300? These forms of "melodramatic propaganada" are extremely influential, but I don't buy into the argument that one needs to support them with attendence and paid admission in order to counter them.
  9. I love your avatars, but I hope Mirage Studios Inc. doesn't come after you for trademark infringement. MIB Ninja Entertainment, a local video store in Pittsburgh, is being sued for its TMNT mural. http://www.post-gazette.com/images4/20070502BW_Mutant_450.jpg Dude! South Side video store gets sued over Ninja Turtles trademark Wasn't there a joke in the live-action TMNT film where Casey Jones accuses the Shredder of trademark infringement?
  10. Daniel


    Excellent point, pharmakon. BTW, I like your signature.
  11. D'oh! I hope that's not my best bet. Warrendale about 25 miles away. I don't have a car, so anything more than five miles away is just too far.
  12. Daniel


    Hero, I agree, the movie does look horrible. And the fact that it is meant to be a titillating gore-fest (eye candy) is annoying. (The comic book version of history does a disservice to the cultures of West Asia, Central Asia, North Africa and Eastern Europe.) loveliberate, why do you have any desire to see this film if you know it's problematic? I agree in part with your earlier reservations. Given the world's current political environment, I think you would have to be living in a cave to not see 300 as having toubling implications for world affairs. According to a review in the Guardian, the film depicts Spartan King Leonidas I "as cynical about diplomatic niceties, slaughtering Persian emissaries against all convention." Well, if you read the news you'd know that, at least figuratively, this is how the U.S. State Department is handling Iran (present-day Persia) at this very moment. Here we have a movie that dipicts Persian as the dominate threat to the Western civilization at the same time Washington is calling Iran "the world's top sponsor of terrorist groups." Hmm? If it ain't propoganda, it's still completely insensitive to the current state of affairs in a way that the practical effect is the same as if it were propoganda.
  13. Um... Please don't assume you know my "way." That's really too presumptive for someone who doesn't know me. A person can be anti-violence and anti-prison, and I believe that based on the research being effective in opposing violence means also opposing prisons. Question: Since when has the Prison Industrial Complex protected women and children? Even the mainstream group Amnesty International in a recent report shows that prisons don't protect the Native American or Alaska Native woman who has a one in three chance of being raped -- mostly by white men -- at some point in her life. What I believe is truly utopian is the hope that the prison system can be reformed. So when a group like Amnesty International is talking about reforming the prison system with "adequate law enforcement," I think what is being promoted is a minor change that allows for a return to business as usual. In contrast, a significant number of activists working to abolish the the Prison Industrial Complex are also doing work on the front-lines to stop the root causes of sexual assualt. This includes activists from INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence. One of these activist is Andrea Smith, a Native American woman working on anti-violence and anti-prison issues. Almost as if in direct response to your story about your great-grandmother, Smith points out when assessing the strategy of using prisons to prevent violence that first of all: This means that in contrast to what you said about your great-grandmother that, according to Smith's research on this issue, the prison system is more likely to portect the rapist, not your great-grandmother. Here's a larger portion of the article by Andrea Smith on prisons and violence against women: Critical Resistance - Incite Statement Gender Violence and the Prison Industrial Complex By Andrea Smith We call social justice movements to develop strategies and analysis that address both state AND interpersonal violence, particularly violence against women. Currently, activists/movements that address state violence (such as anti-prison, anti-police brutality groups) often work in isolation from activists/movements that address domestic and sexual violence. The result is that women of color, who suffer disproportionately from both state and interpersonal violence, have become marginalized within these movements. It is critical that we develop responses to gender violence that do not depend on a sexist, racist, classist, and homophobic criminal justice system. It is also important that we develop strategies that c hallenge the criminal justice system and that also provide safety for survivors of sexual and domestic violence. To live violence free-lives, we must develop holistic strategies for addressing violence that speak to the intersection of all forms of oppression. The anti-violence movement has been critically important in breaking the silence around violence against women and providing much-needed services to survivors. However, the mainstream anti-violence movement has increasingly relied on the criminal justice system as the front-line approach toward ending violence against women of color. It is important to assess the impact of this strategy. 1) Law enforcement approaches to violence against women MAY deter some acts of violence in the short term. However, as an overall strategy for ending violence, criminalization has not worked. In fact, the overall impact of mandatory arrests laws for domestic violence have led to decreases in the number of battered women who kill their partners in self-defense, but they have not led to a decrease in the number of batterers who kill their partners. Thus, the law protects batterers more than it protects survivors. 2) The criminalization approach has also brought many women into conflict with the law, particularly women of color, poor women, lesbians, sex workers, immigrant women, women with disabilities, and other marginalized women. For instance, under mandatory arrest laws, there have been numerous incidents where police officers called to domestic incidents have arrested the woman who is being battered. Many undocumented women have reported cases of sexual and domestic violence, only to find themselves deported. A tough law and order agenda also leads to long punitive sentences for women convicted of killing their batterers. Finally, when public funding is channeled into policing and prisons, budget cuts for social programs, including women’s shelters, welfare and public housing are the inevitable side effect. These cutbacks leave women less able to escape violent relationships. 3) Prisons don’t work. Despite an exponential increase in the number of men in prisons, women are not any safer, and the rates of sexual assault and domestic violence have not decreased. In calling for greater police responses to and harsher sentences for perpetrators of gender violence, the anti-violence movement has fueled the proliferation of prisons which now lock up more people per capita in the U.S. than any other country. During the past fifteen years, the numbers of women, especially women of color in prison has skyrocketed. Prisons also inflict violence on the growing numbers of women behind bars. Slashing, suicide, the proliferation of HIV, strip searches, medical neglect and rape of prisoners has largely been ignored by anti-violence activists. The criminal justice system, an institution of violence, domination, and control, has increased the level of violence in society. 4) The reliance on state funding to support anti-violence programs has increased the professionalization of the anti-violence movement and alienated it from its community-organizing, social justice roots. Such reliance has isolated the anti-violence movement from other social justice movements that seek to eradicate state violence, such that it acts in conflict rather than in collaboration with these movements. 5) The reliance on the criminal justice system has taken power away from women’s ability to organize collectively to stop violence and has invested this power within the state. The result is that women who seek redress in the criminal justice system feel disempowered and alienated. It has also promoted an individualistic approach toward ending violence such that the only way people think they can intervene in stopping violence is to call the police. This reliance has shifted our focus from developing ways communities can collectively respond to violence. In recent years, the mainstream anti-prison movement has called important attention to the negative impact of criminalization and the build-up of the prison industrial complex. Because activists who seek to reverse the tide of mass incarceration and criminalization of poor communities and communities of color have not always centered gender and sexuality in their analysis or organizing, we have not always responded adequately to the needs of survivors of domestic and sexual violence. 1) Prison and police accountability activists have generally organized around and conceptualized men of color as the primary victims of state violence. Women prisoners and victims of police brutality have been made invisible by a focus on the war on our brothers and sons. It has failed to consider how women are affected as severely by state violence as men. The plight of women who are raped by INS officers or prison guards, for instance, has not received sufficient attention. In addition, women carry the burden of caring for extended family when family and community members are criminalized and wherehoused. Several organizations have been established to advocate for women prisoners; however, these groups have been frequently marginalized within the mainstream anti-prison movement.. 2) The anti-prison movement has not addressed strategies for addressing the rampant forms of violence women face in their everyday lives, including street harassment, sexual harassment at work, rape, and intimate partner abuse. Until these strategies are developed, many women will feel shortchanged by the movement. In addition, by not seeking alliances with the anti-violence movement, the anti-prison movement has sent the message that it is possible to liberate communities without seeking the well-being and safety of women. 3) The anti-prison movement has failed to sufficiently organize around the forms of state violence faced by LGBTI communities. LGBTI street youth and trans people in general are particularly vulnerable to police brutality and criminalization. LGBTI prisoners are denied basic human rights such as family visits from same sex partners, and same sex consensual relationships in prison are policed and punished. 4) While prison abolitionists have correctly pointed out that rapists and serial murderers comprise a small number of the prison population, we have not answered the question of how these cases should be addressed. The inability to answer the question is interpreted by many anti-violence activists as a lack of concern for the safety of women 5) The various alternatives to incarcaration that have been developed by anti-prison activists have generally failed to provide sufficient mechanism for safety and accountability for survivors of sexual and domestic violence. These alternatives often rely on a romanticized notion of communities, which have yet to demonstrate their commitment and ability to keep women and children safe or seriously address the sexism and homophobia that is deeply embedded within them. We call on social justice movements concerned with ending violence in all its forms to: 1) Develop community-based responses to violence that do not rely on the criminal justice system AND which have mechanisms that ensure safety and accountability for survivors of sexual and domestic violence. Transformative practices emerging from local communities should be documented and disseminated to promote collective responses to violence.. 2) Critically assess the impact of state funding on social justice organizations and develop alternative fundraising strategies to support these organizations. Develop collective fundraising and organizing strategies for anti-prison and anti-violence organizations. Develop strategies and analysis that specifically target state forms of sexual violence. 3) Make connections between interpersonal violence, the violence inflicted by domestic state institutions (such as prisons, detention centers, mental hospitals, and child protective services), and international violence (such as war, military base prostitution, and nuclear testing). 4) Develop an analysis and strategies to end violence that do not isolate individual acts of violence (either committed by the state or individuals) from their larger contexts. These strategies must address how entire communities of all genders are affected in multiple ways by both state violence and interpersonal gender violence. Battered women prisoners represent an intersection of state and interpersonal violence and as such provide and opportunity for both movements to build coalitions and joint struggles. 5) Put poor/working class women of color in the center of their analysis, organizing practices, and leadership development. Recognize the role of economic oppression, welfare “reform,” and attacks on women workers’ rights in increasing women’s vulnerability to all forms of violence and locate anti-violence and anti-prison activism alongside efforts to transform the capitalist economic system. 6) Center stories of state violence committed against women of color in our organizing efforts. 7) Oppose legislative change that promotes prison expansion, criminalization of poor communities and communities of color and thus state violence against women of color, even if these changes also incorporate measure to support victims of interpersonal gender violence. Promote holistic political education at the everyday level within our communities, specifically how sexual violence helps reproduce the colonial, racist, capitalist, heterosexist, and patriarchal society we live in as well as how state violence produces interpersonal violence within communities. 9) Develop strategies for mobilizing against sexism and homophobia WITHIN our communities in order to keep women safe. 10) Challenge men of color and all men in social justice movements to take particular responsibility to address and organize around gender violence in their communities as a primary strategy for addressing violence and colonialism. We challenge men to address how their own histories of victimization have hindered their ability to establish gender justice in their communities. 11) Link struggles for personal transformation and healing with struggles for social justice. We seek to build movements that not only end violence, but that create a society based on radical freedom, mutual accountability, and passionate reciprocity. In this society, safety and security will not be premised on violence or the threat of violence; it will be based on a collective commitment to guaranteeing the survival and care of all peoples.
  14. But does such a place exist in Pittsburgh? If so, please share. Inquiring minds want to know.
  15. I went on a cruise in December, but I really wish I hadn't. It wasn't vegan friendly at all. Yes, there was lots of fruit and you could eat pasta at dinner, but that was about it. The first day there was this great bean dish for the lunch buffet after you board and I was like, "Cool! Vegan food." But nothing else on the lunch buffets was vegan over the next three days of the entire cruise. The veggie burgers and most of the other dishes had egg or dairy or both in them, or they were made with chicken stock. At dinner the staff had no idea what vegan meant. I'm at the dinner and checkout the options labeled "vegetarian," all of which appear to have dairy in them. So I tell the waiter that I'm vegetarian and I don't eat eggs or dairy and ask if there anything I can eat. The waiter says "How about the shrimp? It doesn't have any dairy." "No," I say. "I'm vegetarian." The waiter then brings over the head waiter and I explain that I'm vegetarian and I don't eat eggs or dairy. The head waiter says, "How about the beef? There's no dairy in that." Ugh... I'm glad others had a better time. I guess I had high expectations though. Just a warning, if you're concerned about the environment and the health of the world's oceans you might want to avoid cruising altogether, since the ships dump raw sewage and other waste water into the ocean. Who wants to go scuba diving when a single ship dumps as much as 200,000 gallons of raw sewage? Yuck!
  16. I don't think any animals (nonhuman or human) should be kept in cages. That's why I support the mission of groups like Critical Resistance. Critical Resistance seeks to build an international movement to end the Prison Industrial Complex by challenging the belief that caging and controlling people makes us safe. We believe that basic necessities such as food, shelter, and freedom are what really make our communities secure. As such, our work is part of global struggles against inequality and powerlessness. The success of the movement requires that it reflect communities most affected by the PIC. Because we seek to abolish the PIC, we cannot support any work that extends its life or scope.
  17. I'm moving to Pittsburgh and scouting out various fitness locations I might like to join, including a yoga studio, a Aikido dojo, and a climbing wall. I'm especially interested in a good gyms for serious weightlifting – one that wouldn't mind grunting or the clang heavy weights and, of course, I'd like a gym that costs less than my rent. Do any of you Pittsburghers know of a good gym for strength athletes/enthusiasts within walking distance of Squirrel Hill? I'm looking for something inexpensive, simple, with good hours, and a decent setup for free weights (squat rack/power cage, dumbbells at least up to 120 lb, a deadlift platform, etc). A hole in the wall is preferred over a joint with anything like saunas, a pool, or racket ball courts.
  18. Actually, there might be a bit of truth to those two statements. Each of these countries has an oppressive history that helped establish them as nations of power and privilage. In order to create a better world we need to understand how U.S. movements are all like the KKK, or Austrians are all like Hitler. The U.S. was founded on the principles of White Supremacy that are promoted by the KKK. In fact, White Supremacy is written into the U.S. Constitution that defines the principles of the United States. Even after the abolition of slavery and the civil rights movement, the U.S. is still largely a nation based on White Supremacy. Major U.S. movements, like capitalism and neoliberal globalization, can also be call movements of White Supremacy. Notice: Please read What is White Supremacy? by Elizabeth Martínez before committing to any backlashing to what I just wrote. The same might be said for Austrians. Hitler wasn't an aberration who just appear out of nowhere, but was raised in a culture of anti-Semitism common in Europe. How else could he become the leader of a massive social movement that had the potential to consume the world? Like the U.S. with racism, Europe established itself through anti-Semitism. Some believe that Austrians could do more to confront their Nazi history, just as the U.S. must do more to confront it's history White Supremacy.
  19. You Are an Old Soul http://images.blogthings.com/whatkindofsoulareyouquiz/old-soul.jpg You are an experienced soul who appreciates tradition. Mellow and wise, you like to be with others but also to be alone. Down to earth, you are sensible and impatient. A creature of habit, it takes you a while to warm up to new people. You hate injustice, and you're very protective of family and friends A bit demanding, you expect proper behavior from others. Extremely independent you don't mind living or being alone. But when you find love, you tend to want marriage right away. Souls you are most compatible with: Warrior Soul and Visionary Soul
  20. Hi, veganpotter. I see how what you're saying is attractive, but without hard evidence skeptical to believe it. Perhaps we can find some agreement as we discuss this. Here's a few of my concerns. I think the Burger King policy has an effect like an ideological atomic bomb. By this I mean that the willingness to call it a "step" is a form of capitulation on the part of animal advocates. Obviously markets like Burger King will be around for a long time if we ceasing to resist them. I feel that is exactly what is being done here by calling this policy "progress." This is not even a compromise, but rather fatalism if you are willing to accept that these markets will continue to exist. What concerns me is how people abandon the vegan philosophy and submit to the presiding state of affairs. For instance, Burger King is explicit about the fact that nothing on the menus, including the BK VEGGIE®, is suitable for vegetarians or vegans. They explicitly state in the above article that the new policy is not going to cost them. In fact, marketing research shows that policies like Burger King's give the animal products they sell added value and credence -- like a brand name adds value and credence. If you look at the rise in the consumption of animal products since the Second World War you can see that it is this sort of added value that corresponds with rising consumption. This is basic consumer-culture capitalism. Are we to believe that the marketing and business experts working for this multi-billion dollar industry haven't done any research? Are we to believe they some how missed a 0.5% profit loss? Are we to believe they are putting themselves out of business? I'm skeptical, and I'm not likely to believe any of it with out solid proof. My own research tells me that this is a smart business move. Look at all to name promotion being done by animal charities and welfare advocates, the very people that should be the opposition. You can't buy public relations like that.
  21. I don't think it's realistic to expect any kind of meaningful progress from Burger King. Nor do I think a "fully organic free range chicken fast food joint" is worth expecting. My whole point is that we shouldn't expect anything from these markets. In my opinion, concepts like crate-free and cage-free are just so much pie-in-the-sky nonsense. This is in part because calling these policies a "step" or "progress" suggests that there is some expectation that Burger King is going to go vegan at some point. That a lot of fanciful thinking, right? The policies that Burger King is promoting have no practical relationship to veganism and animals' rights. So why not work to nullify and abolish markets like Burger King? There's no reason Burger King has to exist forever, and isn't it more down-to-earth to see that they don't? It may be hard to get a lacto-ovo restaurant or individual to go vegan, but at least that is a practical goal. Where's the logic in forgoing something difficult for something impossible?
  22. I can't blame you if you think that, but from my perspective on social change this policy merely ensures that the existing state of affairs -- with regard to nonhuman commodification -- will continue. I don't expect Burger King to ever give up using animals, but I'm not the one claiming that Burger King is acting progressively. From my point of view, it is unrealistic think that Burger King is taking a "step," whatever that means, towards progress. Simply put, Burger King is a market for nonhuman exploitation. Using the vegan ideal as the standard of progression leads me to believe that markets like Burger King need to be nullified. This means encouraging the replacement of these markets with vegan ones. In contrast, the Burger King policy only perpetuation nonhuman exploitation. Displacing one means of exploitation for another means of exploitation isn't true progress. Veganism, by definition, "encourages the use of alternatives for all commodities derived wholly or in part from animals." In an address to the 11th IVU World Vegetarian Congress 1947, Donald Watson, who created the word vegan, said: The Burger King policy belies "the law of progress." Burger King will never renounce absolutely the attitude that they have the right to use other animals to serve their corporate needs. Nonetheless, as vegans we can work to nullify markets like Burger King by encouraging consumers to become vegan and supplying their needs by other means. And in so doing we promote the transformation of society, as opposed to further perpetuating exploitive institutions.
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