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Saturday, April 28, 2007

Bush, Cheney Still Not Impeached

But perhaps a hundred people did rally for it today in LOVE Park. In the course of conversation with one of them, I decided it would be a good idea to copy the first couple paragraphs of the Declaration of Independence and post it around Center City.

Upcoming events:

Sunday, 29 April: 1-4pm, starting at City Hall - a rally for Darfur. This is problematic for me. People want to show that they're concerned, but UN interventions have often been counterproductive, and are sometimes just imperialism under a humanitarian/legalistic guise. If I were to go to such an event, it would be to point this out to other participants. But, as it happens, my book group is meeting at the same time.

7pm, second floor, Fergie's Pub, 1214 Sansom Street - Green Quizzo Tournament. $15 per attendee/participant, $100 per team.

Monday, 30 April: 1pm, Austrian Auditorium, Clinical Research Building, Penn Medical School - Talk by Priscilla Smith, J.D., on "Defending Abortion Rights at the Supreme Court." Free.

Thursday, 3 May: 6-8pm, Buchanan & Ingersoll - "How Long Will You Live?" Talk by Dean Foster of the Wharton Statistics Department. Follow the link at right to the Philadelphia Future Salon for directions and to RSVP. Free, reservation required.

Sunday, 6 May: 1:30pm - The University Museum screens The Mummy as part of its "Hollywood on the Nile" film series.

Monday, 7 May: 7pm, Free Library of Philadelphia Central Branch, 1901 Vine Street - "One Nation Under God: Does Religion Unite or Divide Us?" A symposium with Margaret Downey of the Freethought Society of Greater Philadelphia, plus one cleric each from the Jewish, Catholic Christian, Muslim, and Protestant Christian traditions. Free.

Eric Hamell

Thursday, April 12, 2007

In the 21st Century Now

As of evening before last, I no longer have a WebTV or landline phone account.

Today I ran again into a street fundraiser for a nonprofit whom I'd talked to a couple weeks ago. I'd realized after the first conversation, in which I'd said I'd get back to him about possibly pledging support, that what made me uncomfortable was his high-pressure approach, and the reason I'm so sensitive to it derives from my adolescent experience with a political cult. When I saw him again today, I had the chance to explain this to him, and he seemed to understand. Being able to do this really felt a great relief to me.

I'll have to go into that cult experience in more detail here when I get a chance.

Eric Hamell

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Mayoral Candidate Stands Up for Freedom of Song

Don Imus: an empty-headed shmo.

Yesterday I talked with a supporter of Larry West, the independent candidate for mayor who came to the last Green Party of Philadelphia meeting at my invitation. West is campaigning to lower the age at which one may run for mayor or city council from 25 to 18. What I learned yesterday is that he's supporting a popular busker who'd been singing in the train concourse and has now been displaced to a less visible location. Michael, the West supporter with whom I spoke, said SEPTA put up new signs which interfere with the possibility to perform in the better location, and he clearly thinks this was intentional. He also suggests the fact that the singer is young, "black," and male was part of the reason SEPTA reacted this way. Whatever the motives, I definitely prefer more buskers over more corporate signs.

Eric Hamell

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Labor Going Trans-Atlantic?

In a long-overdue move, the United Steel Workers of America are discussing merger with the British union Unite. As corporate capital went multinational some time ago, this would be only a first step toward catching up. But better late than never. You can see a report on this here.

You'll notice that in the interview, it's stated that this won't lead to international strike action, because "that's illegal." These journalists should ask the founders of our present industrial unions whether they accomplished this by following the employers' law.

Eric Hamell

P.S. My letter to the editor of Phactum (see below) was printed.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Hillary: a Worthy Successor to W

... she can't admit when she's made a mistake either.

Seen on a T-shirt the other day: Vote John Kerry... because he's not Bush. Yeah, that about sums it up.