Zinn Education Project


From ZINN EDUCATION PROJECT

The Zinn Education Project promotes and supports the use of Howard Zinn’s best-selling book A People’s History of the United States and other materials for teaching a people’s history in middle and high school classrooms across the country. The Zinn Education Project is coordinated by two non-profit organizations, Rethinking Schools and Teaching for Change.

Its goal is to introduce students to a more accurate, complex, and engaging understanding of United States history than is found in traditional textbooks and curricula. The empowering potential of studying U.S. history is often lost in a textbook-driven trivial pursuit of names and dates. Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States emphasizes the role of working people, women, people of color, and organized social movements in shaping history. Students learn that history is made not by a few heroic individuals, but instead by people’s choices and actions, thereby also learning that their own choices and actions matter.

We believe that through taking a more engaging and more honest look at the past, we can help equip students with the analytical tools to make sense of – and improve – the world today. For a more complete description, read the PDF A People’s History, A People’s Pedagogy.

In 2008, with support from an anonymous donor, the Zinn Education Project distributed 4,000 free packets for teaching people’s history to educators across the country. In a follow-up survey, the recipients requested more resources, which led to the creation of this upgraded website to provide teaching materials online. Read the full report (in PDF) on the distribution of the 4,000 packets here.
~~

Why Do They Want To Do Us Harm?



Displaced Afghan children from Helmand province stand outside their mud
shelters during a brief snowfall on the outskirts of Kabul on January 28.

From IN THESE TIMES

Helen Thomas asked the question. The White House stonewalled. Here are the answers.

On January 8, President Barack Obama held a press conference at which he said: “It is clear that al Qaeda increasingly seeks to recruit individuals without known terrorist affiliations … to do their bidding. … And that’s why we must communicate clearly to Muslims around the world that al Qaeda offers nothing except a bankrupt vision of misery and death … while the United States stands with those who seek justice and progress … That’s the vision that is far more powerful than the hatred of these violent extremists.”

Obama then turned the floor over to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and terrorism expert John Brennan, former chairman of the National Counterterrorism Center, who spoke and took questions from the assembled reporters, including Helen Thomas, the 89-year-old grand dame of the White House press corps. The following exchange ensued:

Helen Thomas: What is really lacking always for us, is, you don’t give the motivation of why they want to do us harm.

Janet Napolitano: The screening at Schiphol Airport was done by Dutch authorities, and they did the screening that was described to you earlier this afternoon. The hand luggage was screened, the passport was checked, he went through a magnetometer, but it was done by Dutch authorities.

HT: And what is the motivation? We never hear what you find out of ‘why’?

More at IN THESE TIMES
~~

You Are What You Eat Eats


From DAVID KIRBY
The Huffington Post

The Nutritional Superiority of Pasture Raised Animals

You are what you eat – and the same goes for the animals whose meat, milk and eggs you put in your mouth. We should not only be concerned about what we eat, but what our food eats as well.

Generally speaking, our food animals are not eating what they were naturally meant to eat. As more animals are raised by the thousands and packed into concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), their natural diets of roots and grasses, grubs and bugs has been replaced by a standard factory farm fare of grains, soybeans, King Corn and a sundry array of advanced pharmaceutical products.

But sound science has emerged to demonstrate that eating meat, milk and eggs from grass-fed and pastured animals will provide your body with more health-enhancing, disease fighting materials than industrial-grade CAFO-raised protein.

A new scientific review, a compendium of grass-fed beef benefits just published in Nutrition Journal, concludes that, “Research spanning three decades suggests that grass-only diets can significantly alter the fatty acid composition and improve the overall antioxidant content of beef.”

This altered fatty acid composition replaces more of the “bad fats” of grain-fed beef with the “good fats” found in grass-fed protein.

In fact, more and more research is showing that cattle, pigs and poultry raised on their natural pasture and grass-based diets yield meat that is lower in total fat and calories, and food that is higher in good fats like Omega 3’s, more concentrated with antioxidants such as vitamins E, C and beta-carotene, and with increased levels of other disease-fighting substances.

More at HuffPo
~~

A Plastic Bag Sees The World


From TREEHUGGER.ORG

This short film by American director Ramin Bahrani (Goodbye Solo) traces the epic, existential journey of a plastic bag (voiced by Werner Herzog) searching for its lost maker, the woman who took it home from the store and eventually discarded it. Along the way, it encounters strange creatures, experiences love in the sky, grieves the loss of its beloved maker, and tries to grasp its purpose in the world.

When we’re all gone, plastic bags will live on. These petroleum totes don’t really degrade — it takes between 500 and a thousand years for one of these suckers to break down. But they degrade the environment. Like so much else, we throw them away as easily as we make them. But of course they don’t actually _go_ away: they just become inadvertent parts of our urban landscapes. Also they strangle tortoises, choke birds, and poison water in ways that can deform our hormones and lead to cancer.

For proof, just take a look at the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, the Texas-sized gyre featured in the film where plastic goes to die.

Except as Bahrani’s movie poignantly points out, it doesn’t really die. That’s the thing. And if we can’t let a poor plastic bag die – especially one that sounds like Werner Herzog – can we at least learn how to grant it a new life, how to reincarnate a plastic bag into other stuff we can use — and not just a pair of boots or a hobo dress.
~~

Tea Party Members: Are You Serious? If So, Sign The Pledge!


Thanks to THOM HARTMANN

I do solemnly swear to uphold the principles of a socialism-free society and heretofore pledge my word that I shall strictly adhere to the following:

I will complain about the destruction of 1st Amendment Rights in this country, while I am duly being allowed to exercise my 1st Amendment Rights

I will complain about the destruction of my 2nd Amendment Rights in this country, while I am duly being allowed to exercise my 2nd Amendment rights by legally but brazenly brandishing unconcealed firearms in public.

I will foreswear the time-honored principles of fairness, decency, and respect by screaming unintelligible platitudes regarding tyranny, Naziism, and socialism at public town halls. Also, I pledge to eliminate all government intervention in my life.

I will abstain from the use of and participation in any socialist goods and services including but not limited to the following:

  • Social Security
  • Medicare/Medicaid
  • State Children’s Health Insurance Programs (SCHIP)
  • Police, Fire, and Emergency Services
  • US Postal Service
  • Roads and Highways
  • Air Travel (regulated by the socialist FAA)
  • The US Railway System
  • Public Subways and Metro Systems
  • Public Bus and Lightrail Systems
  • Rest Areas on Highways

Celebrating (Mourning) a Culture of Lies


From ROBERT FREEMAN
CommonDreams.org

[Today], March 29th, marks the thirty-seventh anniversary of America’s withdrawal from Vietnam. You won’t hear it celebrated in any mainstream media, though it should be. Or more precisely, it should be mourned. Vietnam is the first war America ever lost.

It should be remembered so that we might learn the lessons of that loss. They are many, they are profound, and they could inform so many of our policy decisions today: that withdrawal from immoral wars doesn’t mean the end of civilization as we know it; that even America’s seemingly limitless resources are, in fact, limited; that masses of engaged, moral individuals can constrain the reckless, destructive folly of renegade elites.

Perhaps the most important lesson of Vietnam is that policies based on lies will ultimately fail, for in an open society it is the consent of the governed that is required to sustain major policy initiatives. A government can either earn that consent, or it must forfeit the essence of its democracy. If lying becomes its essential modus operandi, a nation ceases to be a democracy. Rather, it becomes a criminal conspiracy of self-interested insiders donning the trappings of democracy in order to gull the credulous.

If Vietnam was anything, it was a fetid cesspool of a policy of lies. The intelligence agencies lied about the threat to our country from a nation of pre-industrial age rice farmers who just wanted to be left alone. The Pentagon was steeped in lies, from field level body counts to the success of strategic bombing to the basic question of whether the war could even be won. The State Department lied about the prolonged, illegal bombings of Laos and Cambodia.

Marilyn Friedman – Garden Project in Ukiah


From GARDENS PROJECT MENDOCINO COUNTY

The Orchard Apartments Garden is located at the Orchard Manor and Village Apartments, a low-income family residency managed by the Rural Communities Housing and Development Corp. (RCHDC), a non-profit that provides affordable housing to low and moderate income persons.  The garden is a collaboration of The Gardens Project and RCHDC residents and provides access to fresh fruits and vegetables for the low-income residents.

The garden was developed in the Spring of 2009 and consists of 22 garden plots that serve the families residing at Orchard and Manor Village Apartments.  Residents can have their own individual plots, as well as assist with the overall development and maintenance of the garden. The Orchard Manor Apartments has 63 family units and the neighboring Orchard Village Apartments has 48 units.

In addition to the numerous businesses and volunteers that helped develop this garden, special thanks go to The Gardens Project Sponsors –  The Ukiah Natural Foods Coop and The Community Foundation of Mendocino County for their financial support, as well as the California Conservation Corps for their tremendous contribution of skilled workers!
~~

Chicken Feed


From JIM HOULE
Redwood Valley

I am very annoyed at the Health Care fraud that our President is now touting as if it amounts to Reform. When you turn the hen house over to the fox, and let him change all the locks to serve his needs and set the rental rates, how can you expect he will protect the hens from his continuing voraciousness? Yes, the fox did agree he would not eat any hen before its time, and allowed that those chickens that had run loose in the past without a hen house they could call their own, were now safely ensconced in the fox’s new hen houses. He even agreed with the President that the formerly wild on-their-own hens could now pay the fox suitable rents for the privilege of a ‘safe’ hen house. If the wild chickens can not afford the rent because they have no job, the President agreed to chip in and subsidize.

Oh yes, I almost forgot – the price of chicken feed will rise any time the fox decides since he now has a total monopoly on feed supply. The President will not stand in the way of his making extra bucks in this way. The fox conceded that he would allow skinny and sickly hens to remain in the hen house (pre-existing skinnyness) rather than being thrown to the circling wolves outdoors but he didn’t guarantee that he would feed these skinny ones very much.

We have now set up a totally socialized system to protect the capitalist fox from any risks, we even expanded his market reach, and we call it free economic capitalism. We cannot even consider giving all the chickens free rent and feed, paid for out of the tax we extract from the periodic sale of chicken flesh (sometimes called low wage employment), of course. My God that would be socialism!!
~~