Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Cindy Sheehan assaulted

Cindy Sheehan Arrested At NYC Protest

The above link just in - antiwar campaigner Cindy Sheehan has been arrested yet again and also, it seems, assaulted in the process. Sheehan's last arrest was at the State of the Union speech to which she had been invited. There were no charges and a mild apology was offered. The action at this latest peaceful protest shows all the signs of government harrassment and bodes ill for the future of civil rights. Cindy is due to join with REM for an anti-war concert (also in New York) in 2 weeks time - let's hope she isn't detained to prevent that appearance.

There are times when a profusion of news means that this author has a problem focusing on a given topic. For a wealth of recent hits, check the "Latest Clicks" link on the left.

The other disturbing news from the heart of empire concerns South Dakota where abortion has been made illegal. Reversing this regressive trend will mean an appeal to the Supreme Court, which is now a firmly right-wing institution in its own right. If such an appeal fails, it will set a precendent for the prohibtion of abortion throughout Amerika - effectively undoing "the right to choose" that women fought for over 30 years ago.

Also in the US, schools and colleges are to have their funding withdrawn unless they allow military recruitment agents to set up shop within them. Highly sinister.

Saturday saw the welcome return of well-researched cutting=edge satire with "Bremner, Bird & Fortune" on Britain's Channel Four television. The same broadcaster has a feature last night on the rise of fundamentalist teaching in UK schools. As Blair continues to pursue his education reforms, which include government support for so-called "faith schools", this is a disturbing sign. It's all right to criticise the teaching of extremist Islam, but such libertarian analysis is less than welcome where Christian obsession is concerned. With creationism and other archaic doctrine on the menu, such mind control techniques will do little to further the cause of cultural harmony when the recipients come of age. Oddly, although such schools preach that evolution is bad news, a US report suggests that humans are evolving right now.

Fortunately, the government here are not getting it all their own way. Their own advisors have said no to the idea of new nuclear power plants and the House of Lords have rejected the ID card proposals once again. We also hear that British taxpayers have now spent over £4 billions on invading Iraq just as climate research funding is slashed.

Another undercurrent has only been reported so far in the New York Times - in Palestine the new Hamas government have passed legislation which curbs the powers of their president. Another snub to the meddling of Amerika and Israel.


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