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America: Super-Bully Nation (tags)

America

Queer Democrats Celebrate Election Victories at Freedom Awards (tags)

The predominantly Queer San Diego Democrats for Equality celebrated recent election victories in San Diego County at their annual Freedom Awards November 17 at 1202 Club in HIllcrest. They also honored retiring State Senator Christine Kehoe, the first open Queer ever elected to office in San Diego County, for her19 years in elective office.

Chris Hassett: Queer Activist, Teacher Tells Stories in Music (tags)

San Diego Queer folksinger Chris Hassett released his most recent CD, "This I Promise You," last May. It's a collection of 11 songs, mostly quiet and understated but with country, rock, pop and jazz influences reflecting Hassett's broad musical tastes. Zenger's Newsmagazine interviewed Hassett in late June and discussed the album, as well as gossiping about musicians ranging from Willard Robison to Lady Gaga.

Parker Jaques: Bisexual, Binary and Proud! (tags)

Parker Jaques isn't the usual sort of interviewee who gets featured in a Queer publication. That's why I wanted to interview him for the cover story in the September 2011 Zenger's Newsmagazine. He doesn't have a traumatic, breast-beating coming-out story to tell. He wasn't Queer-bashed in school because his mother encouraged him to fight back if anyone tried it. He's proud of his identity not only as a Bisexual but as a gender-identified male, and he has such withering contempt for people (like the August 2011 Zenger's cover person, Red) who call themselves "non-binary" -- neither male nor female -- that once we started discussing that subject it was hard to get him to talk about anything else. That's why I call him "Bisexual, Binary and Proud!"

Veteran Activist Tom Hayden Speaks in San Diego (tags)

Veteran activist and former California State Senator Tom Hayden came to the First Unitarian-Universalist Church in Hillcrest November 4 to talk about the "Long War," a doctrine used by America's military that suggests the U.S. will be at war against militant Islam for 60 to 80 years and Afghanistan and Iraq are merely "theatres" in this war. He also talked about the recent midterm elections and the frustration of white voters, especially white men, at the failure of either the Republicans or the Democrats to improve their lives.

Over 200 Turn Out for Matthew Shepard Memorial in San Diego (tags)

Over 200 San Diegans marched in Hillcrest October 12, 2010 to commemorate the 12th anniversary of the death of Matthew Shepard, target of an especially brutal Queer-bashing attack in Wyoming, and to honor the lives lost to Queer-bashing, bullying and teen suicide. The event featured two marches, a preliminary rally outside Obelisk Bookstore (site of a memorial plaque to John Robert Wear, 17-year-old killed in a Queer-related assault in 1991) and a program at San Diego’s LGBT Center that featured speakers including Terry Summers, a personal acquaintance of Matthew Shepard.

“A Sea Change”: Film Shows What CO2 Is Doing to the Oceans (tags)

Barbara Ettinger’s film “A Sea Change,” shown at the First Unitarian-Universalist Church in San Diego August 5, shows the other side of the climate change issue: what all that carbon dioxide is doing to the oceans, which absorb much of it after fossil-fuel burning and other human activities release it into the atmosphere. It turns into carbonic acid, which alters the pH of the sea and threatens plankton, coral and other small marine life crucially important to the life cycles of fish and marine mammals. “Imagine a world without fish,” says the publicity material for the film, which was followed at this screening by a discussion with two graduate students from Scripps Institute of Oceanography who expressed their frustration at the political opposition to taking climate change seriously.

“Earth Is for People, Not for Corporations” (tags)

Election fraud expert Steven Freeman headlined “Earth Is for People, Not for Corporations” at the First Unitarian-Universalist Church in San Diego’s Hillcrest neighborhood July 1. The event featured a wide variety of anti-corporate presentations and showed the role of corporations in promoting and profiting from every current social evil, from war to the exploitation of immigrants and denial of the reality of climate change. It also exposed the role of corporate media and discussed ways people can challenge it.

Homeless Veteran Activist Shares Horror Stories at First U-U Church (tags)

Anti-war homeless veteran and activist Maurice Martin delivered a chilling but moving presentation Friday, June 11 at the First Unitarian-Universalist Church in Hillcrest. He talked about war crimes he witnessed or was involved in during his 18-month combat tour in El Salvador in 1974-75 and how his experiences there have haunted his life ever since. Martin also discussed the growing numbers of homeless veterans on our streets and what he and others are doing to help them.

“Innocents Abroad” Trek from San Diego to Gaza (tags)

When Larry Hampshire, Faith Attaguile and Hany El-Saldany signed on with an international convoy bringing supplies and vehicles to the people of the occupied Palestinian province of Gaza, they had so little insight into what they were getting into that they called their program “Innocents Abroad” when they reported on their experience to the Peace and Democracy Action Group of the First Unitarian-Universalist Church in Hillcrest May 6. They faced opposition mostly from the government of Egypt — including a police riot, the confiscation of their passports and the arrest of seven members — but they also had strong support from the people in the countries they went through, especially in the Middle East (Turkey, Syria, Jordan). Their presentation sparked a wide-ranging discussion about the prospects for an Israeli-Palestinian peace and whether the so-called “two-state solution” (a separate Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza next to Israel) is still practical or desirable.

“Rethink Afghanistan” Screens in San Diego (tags)

The Peace and Democracy Action Group of the First Unitarian-Universalist Church in Hillcrest recently screened Robert Greenwald’s hard-hitting 2009 documentary “Rethink Afghanistan,” which meticulously lists all the reasons given for the U.S.’s continuing and escalating military involvement in Afghanistan — from the alleged need to deny al-Qaeda “sanctuary” in the country to the supposed “liberation” of Afghan women — and demolishes them all. The March 18 screening was followed by a talk-back session with three members of the San Diego chapter of Veterans for Peace, who talked about their own experiences in Korea and Viet Nam and the similarities between how those wars were justified and sold to the American people and the current campaign to legitimize our Afghan campaign.

Dahr Jamail Celebrates U.S. Military’s “Will to Resist” in Iraq, Afghanistan (tags)

Dahr Jamail, the independent journalist who broke the monopoly on Iraq war coverage by “embedded reporters” and reported honestly on the war for his own blog, has tackled a subject equally taboo in the corporate media: the growing number of U.S. servicemembers who are resisting the wars of occupation in Iraq and Afghanistan. The resistance takes many forms, from so-called “search and avoid” missions in the war zones to absences without leave (AWOL), conscientious objector filings and outright refusals to obey orders to deploy. While the movement hasn't reached the heights it did during the Viet Nam war — mainly because there isn't as large a mass civilian anti-war movement as there was then — it's significant for the courage and heroism of the resisters and as an index of the toll two long, grueling wars have taken on the U.S. military.

Dr. Helen Caldicott Speaks in San Diego (tags)

Dr. Helen Caldicott, a powerful international activist against nuclear weapons and nuclear power for over a quarter-century, spoke at the First Unitarian-Universalist Church in San Diego October 23 and painted a picture of global warming as an imminent apocalypse that requires immediate action to develop alternative energy sources and stop using fossil fuels. She also denounced the public-relations campaigns aimed at convincing people that global warming isn't a threat, and said climate-change deniers like Rush Limbaugh directly threaten the survival of the earth and therefore should not be allowed to broadcast.

Blase Bonpane Denounces U.S. Support of Honduran Coup (tags)

Blase Bonpane, who's been fighing the good fight against U.S. militarism and imperialism for over 40 years, spoke at the First Unitarian-Universalist Church in San Diego September 8 and said the recent coup in Honduras couldn't have happened without the approval of the U.S. government and corporations. He reviewed America's long history of direct intervention in Latin America in general and Honduras in particular, and said the U.S. backed the Honduran coup now as an attack on the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA), organized by Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez as a network of Latin American countries with Leftist governments who want to be out from under the thumb of oligarchs, corporate elites, international bankers and local militaries trained at the infamous School of the Americas in Fort Benning, Georgia.

Over 250 San Diegans Memorialize Dr. George Tiller (tags)

Over 250 San Diegans turned out to the First Unitarian-Universalist Church in Hillcrest Thursday, June 4 to memorialize Dr. George Tiller, family-planning doctor and abortion provider, who was murdered in his church on May 31. The event was a combination church service, pro-choice rally and candlelight vigil, in which attendees and speakers renewed their commitment to be active in protecting a woman's right to reproductive choice against the terrorist tactics many so-called "pro-life" abortion foes use to eliminate American women's access to safe, legal abortions.

Health Advocate McGuire Speaks Out for Single-Payer (tags)

Andrew McGuire, who's been active in grass-roots health campaigns for over 35 years, came to San Diego May 7 to speak at the First Unitarian-Universalist Church as part of his campaign to get a single-payer health care system enacted and operating in California. McGuire was eloquent about the "immoral, demeaning and lethal" health care system the U.S. has now, and the political pressures making reform impossible at the federal level,but even some progressives in his audience were concerned about details in the plan he was promoting.

Local San Diego Activists Defend Friendship Park (tags)

Since 1971, the Monument Mesa at Friendship Park on the U.S.-Mexico border has been an informal gathering place where people kept from physically coming together by the border fence could nonetheless reach out and pass each other greetings, kisses, presents and food. No longer: the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, seemingly determined to wipe out any sign that the people of the U.S. and Mexico should actually regard each other with anything other than wary hostility, have put the mesa straight in the cross-hairs of the triple border fence. Local activists Christian Ramirez and John Fanestil addressed a San Diego audience April 17 to tell what they're doing to try to save Friendship Park.

It’s More than Nuclear Issues, Native Americans Tell Activists (tags)

The event at the First Unitarian-Universalist Church in San Diego August 29 was billed as a program about Native American activists fighting against nuclear testing and waste disposal in Nevada, but it turned out to be considerably broader than that. Speakers Ian Zabarte, secretary of state of the Shoshone nation, and professor Steven T. Newcomb gave their audience a history lesson about the U.S. government's cavalier attitude towards its treaties with Indian nations and the Christian-supremacist ideology that underlies it.

Veteran Journalist Robert Scheer Speaks in San Diego (tags)

Veteran progressive journalist Robert Scheer spoke in San Diego July 26 and 28 to promote his new book "The Pornography of Power," an exposé of the military-industrial complex and its continuing power to shape American economic and foreign policy and saddle us not only with weapons we don't need but also the irresistible temptation to use them.

"Shrimper" Environmental Activist Speaks in San Diego (tags)

diane Wilson, who went from being a painfully shy Texas shrimp fisher to a nationally known environmental activist, presented her story in San Diego at a meeting sponsored by the Peace and Democracy Action Group of the First Unitarian-Universalist Church. Her inspiring story is also available in her book, "An Unreasonable Woman."

Independent Journalist Dahr Jamail Speaks on Iraq (tags)

Anti-war journalist Dahr Jamail spoke at the First Unitarian-Universalist Church in San Diego November 15 to promote his new book, "Beyond the Green Zone," about his experiences as an unembedded reporter in Iraq over eight months from November 2003 to February 2005. His most moving stories were about the two U.S. sieges of Falloujah in April and November 2004.

Forrest Church Speaks on God and America in San Diego (tags)

Forrest Church, Unitarian-Universalist minister and son of the late Senator Frank Church (D-Idaho), spoke October 4 at the Unitarian-Universalist Church in San Diego on the history of the relationship between church and state in the U.S. His message, surprising in front of a progressive audience, was that religion shouldn't dominate politics but it shouldn't be read out of the public sphere altogether either. Many progressive causes, including the abolition of slavery and the 1960's civil rights movement, were headed by religious leaders.

SHARE! Founder to Speak at First Unitarian Church (tags)

Ruth Hollman, Founder and Executive Director of SHARE!, will speak about "Self-Help Support Groups: Finding Community in Los Angeles" on July 10 at the 11:00am Sunday Service of the First Unitarian Church of Los Angeles, 2936 West 8th Street. Free. (213) 389-1356. For map, go to http://www.uula.org.

Eco-Village Speaker at First Unitarian Church (tags)

Lois Arkin, resident of LA’s Eco-Village and Executive Director of CRSP (Cooperative Resources and Services Project), will speak on the subject of Deep and Rapid Change on January 23 at the 11:00 a.m. Sunday Service of the First Unitarian Church of Los Angeles, 2936 West 8th Street. Free. (213) 389-1356.

Susan W. Kane Recital at First Unitarian Church (tags)

Soprano Susan W. Kane, known for her performance of vocal recital music by women composers, will appear in a solo recital at 3:00 p.m. Sunday, April 6, 2003 in Fritchman Auditorium at the First Unitarian Church of Los Angeles, 2936 West 8th Street. A reception follows the one-hour program.

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