Harry Potter Saves Muggle Forests
Last September I told you about how Raincoast Books, the Canadian co-publisher of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, printed its Canadian edition on 100 percent post-consumer recycled paper. Now Scholastic Books can do the same thing with the upcoming Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince - sure to be a best seller. This will save thousands of ancient trees and the homes of many wonderful Muggle creatures. Easy click action here from Greenpeace:
Camilo Mejia released
CodePink just sent word that Camilo Mejia has been released from prison. I shared the story of Camilo with you last May. He is a courageous soldier who spent 8 months fighting in Iraq, came home for a 2-week furlough, and decided that he could not—in good conscience—return to Iraq. He applied for Conscientious Objector status, and was declared a Prisoner of Conscience by Amnesty International. But the US military convicted him of desertion, and sent him to serve a one-year prison sentence in Fort Sill, Oklahoma. This happened the same day that Jeremy Sivits was court-marshaled and sentenced to a year in prison for abusing Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib, an order Camilo had refused to obey.
In his words “By putting my weapon down, I chose to reassert myself as a human being.” You can read his essay Regaining My Humanity here: www.codepinkalert.org/National_Actions_Camilo.shtml
Postcards arrive with good news
I sent out an action about this at the end of January. Thanks to Lisbeth for giving me the updates.
A "controversial" episode of the children's TV program Postcards from Buster was nearly shelved after newly appointed U.S. Education Secretary Margaret Spellings sent a letter to PBS officials protesting the episode.
"Many parents would not want their young children exposed to the lifestyles portrayed in the episode," she wrote to Pat Mitchell, president of PBS.
Barf. I personally detest the word "lifestyle", it's usually a code word with vicious assumptions hidden in it. What she's talking about here is that the show features some Vermont kids whose parents are lesbians. Shocking, I know.
PBS left it to individual stations to decide whether to air the episode. But tolerance seems to be prevailing -- "Sugartime" has been aired on 47 stations so far around the country, including our own KCET in Los Angeles.
Here's a description of the "dangerous" parts of the show, care of Bill Goodykoontz of the Arizona Republic:
"Buster visits Karen, who used to work with his mom, Karen's partner, Gillian, and their kids. Their relationship is neither avoided nor exploited; it's presented in a completely non-judgmental way. While looking at family photos, Buster tells the family's daughter that she sure has a lot of moms. Yep, she says. Later they visit another family with lesbian parents, but most of the episode is spent on Buster playing with the kids and watching [maple] syrup being made (and eaten).
Indeed, despite what you might think by the uproar, the parents aren't the focus of the episode; they're hardly in it, and when they are they're just doing normal parent stuff - sending the kids on errands, making cookies, that kind of thing. There's no making out on the couch, no stolen kisses while Buster's not looking. Other than Buster's comment about having a lot of moms, the kids don't even mention their parents.
Except for this: Emma, Karen and Gillian's daughter, shows Buster around the house. He admires a photo of the two women.
"This is one of my favorite pictures," Emma says.
"How come?" Buster asks.
"Because it has my mom and Gillian," Emma says, "people I love a lot and they mean a lot to me."
Maybe I'm naive, and I'm certainly not qualified to be the secretary of education or the president of PBS, but that sounds like something parents might actually want their kids exposed to."
Enjoy the rain,