President Jimmy Carter and Mrs. Rosalynn Carter are serving as Honorary Chairs for the 2012 Clarence Jordan Symposium, September 28-29, 2012. Friday evening will feature Tom Key and his production of the “Cotton Patch Gospel.”
The Koinonia Family Reunion will be held October 26 and 27, 2012. Come reconnect with old friends and get re-aquainted with what Koinonia is doing today. It should be a fun time with folks from all eras at Koinonia coming together for fun, fellowship and renewal. We expect to have some music and a lot of volleyball games, much like we’ve enjoyed through the years with so many people. Perhaps you've been a long-time friend but have never been to the farm. Well, come on down! You're welcome, too.
Registration opens in late August or early September this year for all events. Unfortunately, attendance will be limited by the constraints of the venues, so watch and sign up as soon as registration opens.
Just so we understand: An arch-conservative provocateur named Andrew Breitbart circulates a heavily-edited snippet of videotape which purports to show that an official at the United States Department of Agriculture, Shirley Sherrod, was favoring black people over white people.
In actuality, the tape is from a speech given by Sherrod to the NAACP on March 27, but concerns an incident which happened 24 years ago when Sherrod was working for a private not-for-profit called the Federation of Southern Cooperatives.
The tape was doctored so that it appeared Sherrod was making a point opposite to the one she was really making. Fox News, of course, trumpeted the video as an example of "what racism looks like." (This "electronic McCarthyism" is what passes for conservative "journalism" in America.)
Digby has significant portions of Sherrod's actual speech, which everyone in America should read in order to get an understanding of how racial issues have often been used to camoflage the true and unspoken issue in this country, which is class. (The white couple at the center of the story support Sherrod.)
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, shaking in his boots that the conservative media would get after his case, promptly fired Sherrod. She was called at least three times on her cell while she was driving on the freeway. The last caller was Cheryl Cook, an undersecretary at the USDA, who told her pull over to the side of the road and then told her to quit because the story "was going to be on Glenn Beck tonight."
Later, Vilsack said that the USDA had an "unfortunate history" on race, which it indeed does because it used to blatantly discriminate against blacks. Looks like that history repeats itself.
Today, Vilsack says he'll reconsider because he's oh-so-concerned about being fair. Sherrod said she doesn't know if she would accept reinstatement. What she should do is sue the pants off Andrew Breitbart, Fox News, and Tom Vilsack--and/or, the person(s) in the White House who allegedly pressured Vilsack to fire Sherrod. (Like Joan Walsh, I'd happily contribute to her legal fund.)
The American people did not elect a Democratic government in order to see them (repeatedly) punked by right-wing media, cowering in the face of political threat, and shaking in their boots at the prospect--oh, the humanity!--of being called "liberal."
Ever since visiting a Mayan ruin in Belize, I've been wondering why it was that the Mayans were perfectly fine with living a nomadic hunter-gatherer existence for 10,000 years, then, seemingly all of a sudden, decided to settle down and become a "civilization." Why?
In a hunter-gatherer society, food was free, available to anyone who went out and got it. With the rise of agriculture, this changed. More food was available, but it was no longer free. The problem was not the discovery of planting and harvesting. In fact, hunter-gatherers had already been doing some of that for some time. The problem was that the agricultural revolution marked a shift in how we thought about food. It had become a commodity.
Prior to the agricultural revolution, food was no more to be bought and sold than the air we breathe. After the agricultural revolution, food was put "under lock and key." (BGE, p. 31)
When food became a commodity, society began to develop criteria to determine who was or was not worthy of it. Gustafson argues that morality is a social construct by which the "powers" of society determine who is "good" or "bad," who is worthy of being taken seriously, and who isn't. It also generated "ranking," which determines which is "better" or "worse" than another.
Agriculture increased food production, which, in turn, increased population. Most of this increased population is not involved in food production itself which frees their labor for other purposes and makes possible the rise of cities and "civilization." Moreover, rising populations need more and more food, which meant that more and more land was needed in order to increase production. This generated invasions, wars, and social dislocations.
Hillary presented the plan in a guest editorial at the Huffington Post. About 17% of the world's population, roughly one billion people, suffers from hunger every day. Fifty years ago, about one-third of the world's people were hungry.
In one sense, we have made great progress in halving the hunger rate. In another sense, because of the increase in the world's population, the sheer number of the hungry is about the same as it was then.
It is one thing to unveil a plan, and quite another to do those things which can put the plan into place. One commenter notes that Monsanto, for example, sells seeds that are not re-plantable. Every year, farmers have to buy seed. Oil companies and mining companies are forcing indigenous farmers off their farms. Water for irrigation will be in increasingly short supply. Alas, there are many problems. One hopes the administration will stick to these priorities: